Tel Aviv University Dan David Prize 2021 Threatened by BDS


Editorial Note

The Tel Aviv University Dan David Prize annually awards three prizes to “globally inspiring individuals and organizations,” the sum of one million dollars each. According to the prize page, the prize honors “outstanding contributions that expand knowledge of the past, enrich society in the present, and promise to improve the future of our world.”  The laureates were announced live in an online event on February 15, 2021, and the Prize Award Ceremony will be held in an online event in May 2021.

This year’s fields are History of Health and Medicine (Past category), Public Health (Present category), and Molecular Medicine (Future category).

In the History of Health and Medicine (Past Category), the award is given to Prof. Alison Bashford of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, among two others. She is a “world-leader and an agenda-setter in the history of health and medicine.” Bashford’s books constitute a major resource for understanding the current global pandemic, as an early analyst of the relationship between public health, disease control, and race, who galvanized historians of health and medicine worldwide around the question of quarantine and medico-legal border control. She researched the biosecurity threats of SARS, anthrax, and avian influenza that amplified political insecurity in the early 2000s. 

The TAU Dan David Prize encourages scholars to excel in researching and solving global crises. 

However, a Palestinian BDS group is seeking to sabotage the Prize.

BDS Australia, a BDS group that calls to boycott Israel to support Palestinians rights, has recently urged Prof. Bashford to “support Palestinians in their struggle against apartheid and brutal repression by rejecting the Dan David Prize.”  According to the BDS group, “Israel is currently obstructing Covid vaccines’ delivery to Palestinians.” They also claim that “its illegal military occupation of the West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip, which Tel Aviv University facilitates, have systematically attacked Palestinians’ public health for decades.” 

BDS Australia claims that “Palestinians are calling on people of good will to boycott organizations that profit from, contribute to, or normalize Israel’s repression of them. Academics from all over the world have met the call with strong support.”   

The BDS movement has scored one success. In 2018, Prof. Catherine Hall of University College London declined the Dan David Prize.  Hall said: “I have withdrawn from the prize – this was an independent political choice, undertaken after many discussions with those who are deeply involved with the politics of Israel-Palestine, but with differing views as to how best to act.”  Instead, the award was distributed as grants for students at Tel Aviv University and across the globe. Ariel David from the foundation’s administrative board said: “This will give Israelis of all backgrounds, whether Jewish or Arab, as well as international scholars, the opportunity to meet at this beautiful campus and engage in academic discussion, research and discovery.”

BDS Australia told Bashford that:

-the Dan David prize obscures the severe rolling health crisis in the occupied territories, and ignores the fact that Israel robs countless Palestinians of their right to health, well-being and ordinary prospects of flourishing.” 

-“accepting the prize contributes to misleading the public about Israel’s violence and racism towards Palestinians, and legitimizes institutions at the center of Israel’s apartheid policies.” 

-Israel’s “complicity with the stockpiling of the bodies of dead Palestinians, Tel Aviv University, the prize administrator, directly facilitates the violence of Israel’s apartheid policies.”

-“Millions of Palestinians are subjected to Israel’s slow ethnic-cleansing regime, which dispossesses, arbitrarily imprisons, maims and kills them in large numbers.”

-“we ask you to refuse to be one for Israel’s apartheid and brutal military occupation and blockade of Palestinians.” 

-“You surely would not have been an apologist for South Africa’s apartheid.”

Like other branches of the BDS movement, BDS Australia has consistently and often maliciously misrepresented the complex realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by blaming the Israeli side exclusively.  Such a one-sided view allows the BDS advocates to whitewash the Palestinian leadership role in creating a situation in which the Palestinians cannot thrive.  The history is full of examples.  In 2000, Yasser Arafat, influenced by Iran and its Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad proxies, refused Israel’s generous offer to settle the conflict.  Even so, the international community had spent untold millions of dollars to help the Palestinians, by far the most generous donation per capita to any population.   Hamas, which evicted the PLO from Gaza in 2006, has chosen to spend this largess on Kassam rockets, weapons, ammunition, and tunnels against Israel.  The group has run a brutal dictatorship in which dissent is not tolerated.  The PLO leadership in charge of the West Bank is inept and highly corrupt, a recipe for robbing its people of the opportunity to thrive. 

Prof. Bashford should take note of this.

Dan David Prize 2021 Laureates in Health and Medicine Announced

Dr. Anthony Fauci among winners in fields of infectious disease, history of medicine, and anti-cancer immunotherapy15 February 2021

This year’s Dan David Prize laureates are Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Anthony Fauci; health and medicine historians Prof. Alison Bashford, Prof. Katharine Park, and Prof. Keith Wailoo; and the pioneers of an anti-cancer immunotherapy Prof. Zelig Eshhar, Prof. Carl June, and Dr. Steven Rosenberg.

The laureates were announced live in an online event on February 15, 2021.

The internationally renowned Dan David Prize, headquartered at Tel Aviv University, annually awards three prizes of US $1 million each to globally inspiring individuals and organizations. The Prize honors outstanding contributions that expand knowledge of the past, enrich society in the present, and promise to improve the future of our world. The total purse of US $3 million makes this prestigious prize also one of the highest-valued awards internationally. This year’s fields are: History of Health and Medicine (Past category), Public Health (Present category), and Molecular Medicine (Future category).

The Laureates

History of Health and Medicine (Past Category)

A world-leader and an agenda-setter in the history of health and medicine, Prof. Alison Bashford’s wide-ranging work is unusually expansive across geographies, topics, and periods, and demonstrates the global interconnectedness of medicine and public health in the modern world. As one of the earliest analysts of the relationship between public health, disease control, and race, she galvanized historians of health and medicine worldwide around the question of quarantine and medico-legal border control. When the biosecurity threats of SARS, anthrax, and avian influenza amplified political insecurity in the early 2000s, she quickly convened scholars from diverse fields, curating and editing three books that have expanded our understanding of that complex global moment. One of them constitutes a major resource for understanding the current global pandemic. She currently serves as the Laureate Professor of History, UNSW Sydney, Australia.

Prof. Katharine Park is a professor emerita of the History of Science at Harvard University, and a pioneering scholar of medieval and early modern science and medicine. Her early scholarship focused on the medical profession in Renaissance Florence; applying an innovative approach, she surveyed “the entire world of medical practice” in the wake of the first plague epidemic in 1348. Her research re-orients what we thought we knew about medieval and Renaissance anatomy and places gender at the center of the analysis, demonstrating how this can provide radically new insights. Combining conceptual temerity, visionary analysis, and methodological innovation, her work has revitalized the field and is reshaping our understanding of gender, sexuality, and the [female] body in pre-modern societies.

Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University, Keith A. Wailoo’s research is shedding new light on hidden health experiences in the past, from pain management to the way cultural values shape ideas about cancer, or how sickle cell disease emerged from medical invisibility to become a focal point of debate in the U.S. over race, health equity, and social justice. He is redefining the social history of American medicine, by positioning the issue of race at its heart. By forcefully bringing a historical perspective into public commentary and policy discussions on topics ranging from the opioid crisis to the politics of vaccination and COVID-19, he is advancing a broad understanding of health and health equity.

Public Health (Present Category)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, M.D., is the consummate model of leadership and impact in public health. As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health since 1984, he oversees an extensive research portfolio focused on infectious and immune-mediated diseases. He is widely respected throughout the world for his efforts to develop novel diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines against COVID-19.  As the COVID-19 pandemic unraveled, he leveraged his considerable communication skills to address people gripped by fear and anxiety and worked relentlessly to inform individuals in the United States and elsewhere about the public health measures essential for containing the pandemic’s spread.  In addition, he has been widely praised for his courage in speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment. Dr. Fauci has also made many seminal contributions in basic and clinical research and is one of the world’s most-cited biomedical scientists. He was one of the principal architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has saved millions of lives throughout the developing world.

Molecular Medicine (Future Category)

Prof. Zelig Eshhar is an immunologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, known for his pioneering work on T cells and chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) cancer immunotherapy. By combining antibodies with T-cell through genetic engineering, he created “killer” T cells, which have improved cancer recognition skills. His team was the first to employ the CAR -T cells to specifically fight cancer. He also worked to create unique antibodies for allergies. As an expert in monoclonal antibodies, Prof. Eshhar was invited to teach in developing countries and to advise many biotech companies. In a visit to another Dan David Prize laureate, Prof. Steven Rosenberg, Eshhar set the groundwork for the clinical application of his technology.

Prof. Carl June is a physician scientist and the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. June and his lab discovered several basic scientific principles of how the cells in the immune system work to fight cancer and infections in the 1980s and 1990s. His lab would go on to conduct the first clinical evaluation of gene-modified T cells, initially in people with HIV/AIDS and then in patients with advanced leukemia beginning using CAR T cell therapy, the approach that retrains a patient’s own immune cells to attack cancer. The cellular therapy was awarded “Breakthrough Therapy” status by the FDA for acute leukemia in children and adults in 2014 and was approved as the first personalized cellular therapy for cancer, Kymriah, in 2017. It is now in use for the treatment of pediatric and adult blood cancer patients.

Dr. Steven Rosenberg  is Chief of the Surgery Branch at the Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland and a Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He pioneered the development of gene therapy and was the first to successfully insert foreign genes into humans. He was also the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of genetically engineered CAR-T cells to mediate the regression of B-cell malignancies in humans, a treatment now approved by the FDA for widespread use. In recent work Dr. Rosenberg established new approaches for the application of immunotherapy to patients with a variety of common solid cancers by targeting the unique mutations present in the patient’s cancer. His recent studies of the adoptive transfer of genetically modified lymphocytes have resulted in the regression of metastatic cancer in patients with various types of tumors.

About the Dan David Prize

The Dan David Prize was established by the late Dan David, an international businessman and philanthropist whose vision is the driving force behind the international Dan David Prize. His aim was to reward those who have made a lasting impact on society and to help young students and entrepreneurs become the scholars and leaders of the future.

Previous Dan David Prize laureates include cellist Yo-Yo Ma (2006); former US Vice President Al Gore (2008); novelist Margaret Atwood (2010); filmmakers Ethan and Joel Coen (2011); distinguished economist and recent Nobel Laureate, Esther Duflo (2013); and artificial intelligence researcher, neuroscientist, and entrepreneur Dr. Demis Hassabis (2020).

The laureates donate 10% of their award money to scholarships for graduate or post-graduate researchers in their respective fields.

Prof. Ariel Porat, President of Tel Aviv University and Chairperson of the Dan David Prize Board said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has presented humanity with new challenges. Therefore, this year, we decided to honor the fields at the forefront of the battle against the virus – health and medicine. International review committees selected this year’s laureates for their pioneering work and their exceptional contributions to humanity in these fields, in three time dimensions – past, present and future.”

Ariel David, director of the Dan David Foundation and son of the prize founder, said:

“During the past year, we sought to address the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We chose to do so while staying true to the broad and diverse approach that distinguishes the Prize, recognizing achievements in a wide variety of fields that deal with issues of health, medicine and epidemiology. Our laureates for this year have probed how humanity has dealt with sickness and pandemics throughout history; they have provided relief, guidance and leadership in dealing with current outbreaks – from AIDS to Ebola and the Novel Coronavirus – and they are at the forefront of discovering new treatments that give us hope for the future in the ongoing battle against cancer and other diseases. I feel fortunate that we have the opportunity to celebrate their achievements and to remind ourselves that it is only by marshaling all the resources of the human intellect that we can trace a path through the darkest of crises.” 

The Prize’s unique model implements a ‘roving’ formula that rewards achievements in all fields of human endeavor, rather than in a fixed set of categories, and every year, a new theme is selected for each of the three time categories – past, present, and future.

The seven laureates will be honored at the 2021 Dan David Prize Award Ceremony, to be held in a special online event in May 2021. 


FEBRUARY 19, 2021 12:09 PM AEDT

University Professor accepted tainted award

BDS Australia calls on UNSW Laureate Professor Alison Bashford to support Palestinians in their struggle against apartheid and brutal repression by rejecting the Dan David Prize.

The 2021 prize, which is administered by Tel Aviv University, rewards contributions to the understanding of public health. Yet Israel is currently obstructing the delivery of Covid vaccines to Palestinians, and its illegal military occupation of the West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip, which Tel Aviv University facilitates, have systematically attacked Palestinians’ public health for decades.

State-based efforts to bring about justice for Palestinians have comprehensively failed. In response, Palestinians are calling on people of good will to boycott organisations that profit from, contribute to, or normalize Israel’s repression of them. Academics from all over the world have met the call with strong support. As one example only, Prof. Catherine Hall of University College London declined to accept the same Dan David Prize in 2018 after extensive discussion about the politics of Israel-Palestine.

In suggesting that Israel is committed to advances in public health, the Dan David prize obscures the severe rolling health crisis in the occupied territories, and ignores the fact that Israel robs countless Palestinians of their right to health, well-being and ordinary prospects of flourishing. In its structural ties to Israel’s military and political architecture, including fee-waiversand scholarships for Israeli soldiers, and its complicity with the stockpiling of the bodies of dead Palestinians, Tel Aviv University, the prize administrator, directly facilitates the violence of Israel’s apartheid policies.

Millions of Palestinians are subjected to Israel’s slow ethnic-cleansing regime, which dispossesses, arbitrarily imprisons, maims and kills them in large numbers. To them, a high-profile prize from the heart of the Israeli political and academic establishment can only appear a cruel joke.

Professor Bashford, accepting the prize contributes to misleading the public about Israel’s violence and racism towards Palestinians, and legitimizes institutions at the centre of Israel’s apartheid policies. We therefore ask you to put into practice your declared commitments to public health and antiracism, and respect Palestinians’ call for solidarity by boycotting the Dan David prize. You surely would not have been an apologist for South Africa’s apartheid; we ask you to refuse to be one for Israel’s apartheid and brutal military occupation and blockade of Palestinians.


An Open letter from academics, researchers and students: Professor Alison Bashford – Please reconsider the Dan David Prize


Dear Professor Bashford,

We are academics, researchers and students. We ask you to please reconsider accepting your share of the prestigious 2021 Dan David Prize,[1] the academic award administered by and headquartered at Tel Aviv University (TAU).[2] This year’s prize rewards scholars who have contributed to advances in and understanding of medicine and public health. In reality, however, accepting it serves to legitimize and normalize Israel’s colonial violence and apartheid.

As we are sure you are aware, for decades, through its military occupation, blockade and apartheid, Israel has been undermining Palestine’s health systems and systematically denying Palestinians medical care.[3] In a report from November last year, the director of the World Health Organisation noted that Israel’s ‘chronic occupation has profound implications for the sustainability of health-care provision by public authorities, in terms of both revenue raising and affordability.’[4] Palestinians are regularly blackmailed into collaboration with the Israeli Security Services in order to get the permits they need to leave the West Bank and Gaza for medical treatment.[5] Currently, while Israel has been hailed for vaccinating its population, it is refusing to immunize all Palestinians under its rule,[6] as is its responsibility,[7] and placing obstacles in the way of transfer of vaccines into Gaza and the West Bank, entry to which it fully controls – clear testament to the apartheid regime it maintains.[8]  

Since 2005, Palestinian civil society organizations have been calling on supporters of justice and antiracism around the world to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause by boycotting Israel, including its academic institutions. Accepting the prize would be a clear violation of this call, and an outright refusal of Palestinians’ aspirations for freedom. We ask you to respect the wishes of Palestinian people and not side with their oppressor.

TAU directly facilitates Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation of the West Bank and its illegal blockade of Gaza. It must be held accountable for supporting Israel’s repression of Palestinians. Examples of TAU’s complicity in Israel’s anti-Palestinianism are numerous: 

– An affiliate of the university’s Sackler School of Medicine, the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute,[9] is currently stockpiling the bodies of scores of Palestinians for use as leverage in negotiations, refusing to release them to their families, a practice which contravenes international treaties and conventions.[10]  
– TAU hosts the Institute for National Security Studies, whose 2018 ‘Plan’ recommends completing the illegal separation wall, and ‘ongoing construction in settlement blocs’ – in other words, perpetuation of Israeli apartheid – and which declares in its current report that ‘it is necessary to prepare for the next war’.[11] 
– TAU’s Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security cooperates closely with the Israeli Defence Force and other security services, and hosts work on, among other things, ‘missiles and guided weapons, homeland security, [and] force build-up policy’.[12] In 2008 the TAU President described himself as ‘awed by the magnitude and scientific creativity of the work being done behind the scenes at TAU that enhances the country’s civilian defense capabilities and military edge’.[13]  
– TAU’s Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering runs an ‘entrepreneurship program’ with Elbit Systems,[14] a major Israeli arms manufacturer, whose weapons and technology are battle-tested on Palestinians.[15] 
– Since 2016, as at all Israeli universities, soldiers’ TAU tuition fees are paid after discharge from the army.[16]  
– In 2014, TAU offered a year’s free tuition to students who had participated in the murderous military attacks on Gaza.[17] 
– In 2012, TAU started collaboration with settlement organisations in archaeological digs in Palestinian East Jerusalem, in violation of international agreements.[18] 

Professor Bashford, we call on you to follow the lead of your colleague and fellow historian Professor Catherine Hall, who in 2018 refused the Dan David Prize prize.[19] Doing so would make an important contribution to the cause of antiracism and opposition to apartheid in Israel in a context in which state-led resolution efforts have failed. It would also avoid a flagrant contradiction with your own published work, which aims to contribute to ‘the critical history of colonialism, nationalism and public health’, investigating, among other topics, ‘segregation as both hygienic – that is, as part of public health – and racial – as part of the systems and cultures of race management’.[20]  

Israel’s racist policies against Palestinians, long criticised as instances of apartheid by Palestinians themselves, as well as by international legal and humanitarian authorities (including recently by the Israeli NGO B’Tselem) are an egregious example of racial segregation imposed on an entire population, with all the desperate consequences for Palestinians’ health and well-being that this implies.[21] 

Professor Bashford, you have a significant opportunity to contribute to public understanding of the importance of antiracism and anti-apartheid. In 2003, you and a co-author noted that ‘even repressive regimes have been eroded through criticism generated by external human rights groups attempting to universalise democratic ideals’; as you pointed out, ‘it is difficult to imagine the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, for example, without the chorus of international calls to release high-profile political prisoners on Robben Island’.[22] Palestinians’ appeal for boycott is an attempt to mobilise a chorus of international calls of exactly this kind. 

Nothing obliges you to accept the Dan David prize and the financial reward that accompanies it. Doing so would be a sharp rebuke to the unanimous call from Palestinian organisations to support their struggle for freedom. As you have noted, ‘liberalism and the idea of democratic rule — most recently through the language of human rights — problematises arbitrary detention, the incarceration of non-criminals and of political prisoners’.[23] These are, however, among the very practices which Israel imposes on Palestinians. Refusing the award, opposing the whitewashing of Israel’s crimes, and rejecting collaboration with an Israeli academic institution complicit with the oppression of Palestinians, would earn you the respect and admiration of all those who believe that academic research must serve the cause of freedom, in Palestine and in the world.

Samah Sabawi, independent scholar, Melbourne Nick Riemer, University of Sydney Rima Najjar, Al Quds University, Palestine Ahmed Alnajjar. Director of Public and International Relations, Ministry of Education, Palestine Randa Abdel-Fattah, Macquarie University Randa Farah, University of Western Ontario Wael Hallaq, Columbia University Peter Slezak, University of New South Wales Alistair Sisson, University of New South Wales Michael Grewcock, University of New South Wales Alana Lentin, University of Western Sydney David Brophy, University of Sydney James Godfrey, Birkbeck, University of London Jumana Bayeh, Macquarie University Sara Dehm, University of Technology, Sydney Ntina Tzouvala, Australian National University Lucia Sorbera, University of Sydney Kieron Cadey, Canterbury Christ Church Inna Michaeli, independent scholar, Germany Michael Griffiths, University of Wollongong Sara Saleh, University of New South Wales Liyana Kayali, Australian National University Micaela Sahhar, University of Melbourne Kate Davison, University of Melbourne Daniel A. Segal, Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges, USA Nicola Perugini, University of Edinburgh Sharri Plonski, Queen Mary, University of London Ronit Lentin, Trinity College Dublin Ryan Al-Natour, Charles Sturt University Robert Boyce, London School of Economics Mohd Nazari bin Ismail, University of Malaya Dr Lobna Yassine, Australian Catholic University Dr. Suzita Noor, University of Malaya Karel Arnaut, KU Leuven Paola Manduca, University of Genoa, Italy John King, New York University Angelo Baracca, University of Florence Zati Azizul, University of Malaya Marcelo Svirsky University of Wollongong Elsa Haniffah Mejia Mohamed, University Malaya MY Musa, USM Aneesa Abdul Rashid, Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia Herman De Ley, Ghent University Mark Ayyash, Mount Royal University, Canada Raja Jamilah Raja Yuso, University of Malaya Norhayati Ab.Rahman, University of Malaya David Faber, Flinders University Dr. Noor Fadiya Mohd Noor, University of Malaya Noor Adwa Sulaiman University of Malaya Fatiha Shabaruddin, Universiti Malaya Marc De Meyere Gent University Susan Ferguson, Wilfrid Laurier University Nozomi Takahashi, Staff scientist, VIB/Ghent University Snehal Shingavi, University of Texas, Austin Hassan Basri, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin J. Ahmad, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia Meera Atkinson, University of Notre Dame Australia George H Morgan, Western Sydney University Brian Brophy, University of Adelaide Zul’aini Zainal Abidin, Kolej Poly-Tech MARA Sharmani Patricia Gabriel, Universiti Malaya Amir Nor, Islamic Science University Professor Omar bin Yaakob, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia M.Tashid, University of Technology malaysia Rozaini Roslan, UTHM Mohamed Hatta Shaharom, Chairman Ikram Foundation of Malaysia Harlina Halizah Siraj, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Prof Dr Hayati, USIM Borhanuddin Mohd Ali, Universiti Putra Malaysia Prof. Azman Che Mat, UiTM Mustafa Mohd Hanefah Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia Ramli Bin Nazir, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Ahmad Hariza Hashim, Universiti Putra Malaysia Prof Dr Norhasmah, UPM Prof. Dr. Nor Azan, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Dr. Abdul Rashid Mohamed, Universiti Sains Malaysia Daing Nasir Ibrahim University Malaysia Pahang Dr Sahrim Ahmad/Professor, UKM, Malaysia Haiyun Ma, Frostburg State University, USA Mahamod Ismail, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Tengku Shahrom Tengku Shahdan, Universiti Selangor Associate Professor Dr Suhaimi Mhd Sarif International Islamic University Malaysia A’zzah, CEO, Al Musab Institute Wan Jefrey Basirun University Malaya Adlina Suleiman Academy of Professors Malaysia Khairul Saidah Abas Azmi, Senior Lecturer University of Malaya Noorsyazly Rameli, Malaysia Mohammad Nazri, Universiti Malaya Kelton Muir Sydney University John Michael O’Brien, University of Sydney Souheir Edelbi, UNSW Paul Russell, Victoria University Toby Fitch, University of Sydney Finola Laughren, University of Sydney Dr Azmi Aminuddin, UiTM Rohana Hassan, UiTM Christiane Schomblond, Université Libre de Bruxelles Kathryn Ticehurst, University of Sydney Carol Que, University of Melbourne Noor Sapiei, University of Malaya Alan Hill, RMIT University, Melbourne Goldie Osuri, University of Warwick Azman Hassan , Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Meloni Muir, University of Sydney Liam Ward, RMIT University, Melbourne David Klein, California State University Northridge Mike Cushman, London School of Economics Harry Smaller, York University, Canada Vannina Sztainbok, University of Toronto Colin Mooers, Ryerson University, Canada Sylvat Aziz, Queens University, Toronto Joy Moore, Dawson College, Montreal Asha Varadharajan, Queen’s University Brett Story, Assistant Professor, Ryerson University Larry Hannant, University of Victoria Sumi Hasegawa, McGill University Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick David Borgonjon, Rhode Island School of Design Kevin Moloney, York University, Toronto Steven Jordan, McGill University Peter Chidiac, University of Western Ontario Anne Meneley, Trent University Dr. Edwin E. Daniel, University of Alberta Christo El Morr, York University Natalia Maystorovich Chulio, University of Sydney Matilda Fay, University of Technology Sydney Mark LeVine, UC Irvine Robert Austin, University of Sydney Viviana Ramírez, independent scholar, Chile Mohd Hilmi Jaafar, University of Malaya Victor Wallis, Berklee College of Music Zuhaimy ismail, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Shira Robinson, George Washington University Daing Nasir Ibrahim, University Malaysia Pahang Malek Abisaab, McGill University Graham Holton, University of Queensland

[3] A 2020 report by the WHO Director General, ‘Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan’, for instance, finds that ‘Israeli settler population in the West Bank, estimated to comprise more than 600000 persons, compared to Palestinians living in the same territory, have a life expectancy almost nine years higher, infant mortality more than six times lower and maternal mortality nine times lower’, 12.
[4] ‘Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan’, 18.
[20] Bashford A. (2004) Introduction: Lines of hygiene, boundaries of rule. In: Imperial Hygiene. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 13 and 2.
[22] Bashford A. and Strange C., ‘Isolation and exclusion in the modern world An introductory essay’, in Bashford A. and Strange C. (eds) Isolation: Places and Practices of Exclusion, London, Routledge, 2003, p.14
[23] Bashford A. and Strange C. ‘Isolation and exclusion in the modern world An introductory essay’, in Bashford A. and Strange C. (eds) Isolation: Places and Practices of Exclusion, London, Routledge, 2003, p.14

Radical Group ‘Academia for Equality’ Calls to Boycott Ariel U Medical School


Editorial Note

The shortages of medical staff in Israel are well known. The need for a medical school is the first step in alleviating this problem.  With this in mind, in August 2018, the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson School of Medicine at Ariel University was established. 

As reported by Ariel University, the medical school is based on a four-year course of post-graduate studies: The first year includes courses in basic medical sciences such as anatomy, physiology, clinical microbiology, clinical immunology, epidemiology, and clinical pharmacology; The second year focuses on integrative teaching of the body systems in health and disease. The clinical and basic science-related aspects of body systems, such as the gastrointestinal tract, the cardiovascular system, infection, and immunity, will be highlighted; The third and fourth years are devoted to hands-on clinical studies, based on small group bed-side interaction in hospitals and the community.  

The school emphasizes that a “Great effort went into designing an advanced educational program that will empower students with comprehensive knowledge both in medical sciences and clinical medicine to ensure delivery of total patient care.” Real medical scenarios will be initiated from the early stages of the program. Medical studies with an integrative approach on personalized medicine such as robotics, digitalized medicine, and evidence-based decision-making aim to encourage graduates to be “inquisitive, research-oriented and resolute physicians with excellent interpersonal and communication skills,” with a special emphasis on “comprehensive courses in translational bioinformatics using big data, clinical molecular biology and human genetics.”  

However, the founding of the Adelson School of Medicine at Ariel University was not smooth, facing opposition for several years. First, other medical schools wanted to see this money going to existing schools and not new ones. However, the Adelsons preferred to invest in Ariel University.

The most significant opposition came from political activist-academics who perceive Ariel’s settlement in Judea and Samaria as illegitimate, including the university. For them, this territory is occupied and not disputed, and as a result, Jews are not allowed to live there.

Also, a committee under the Council for Higher Education (CHE) voted in February 2019 in opposition to establishing the medical school at Ariel University. Nevertheless, in another round of votes two months later, the CHE approved the school’s founding.

As IAM reported in February 2020, there was another boycott attempt against Ariel University. The Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education has urged the international academic community to reject cooperation with Ariel University. In a campaign titled “No Academic Business as Usual with Ariel University and all other Israeli Academic Institutions Illegally Built on Occupied Palestinian Land,” also joined by the Council of Palestinian Universities’ Presidents and the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees. It was first published on November 29, 2018, calling on states, academic institutions, and research bodies to end institutional relations with Ariel University and “other Israeli academic institutions illegally built on occupied Palestinian land.”  The campaign cited the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, which stated 

that Ariel was “seized under the false pretext of imperative military needs and on land that was declared state land.”

The “Ariel University non-recognition and non-collaboration” campaign was backed by an International Advisory Board, which included Prof. David Harel of Weizmann Institute of Science. As stated by the organizers, the Advisory Board members provide “strategic input and serve as public advocates of the campaign.”   

Similarly, Academia for Equality, a radical-leftist group of academics based at Tel Aviv University, also embraced the “Ariel University non-recognition and non-collaboration” campaign and posted a letter from Israeli psychologists and social workers who refuse to participate in a series of seminars organized by Ariel University. The signatories included Dr. Ruchama Merton and other radical Israeli academics such as Prof. Uri Hadar, Dr. Kim Yuval, and Dr. Julia Chaitin, among the 68 signatories. 

Not easily discouraged, Academia for Equality is now running a similar campaign. On January 23, 2021, Academia for Equality voiced its reservations about a “collaboration outline” between the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and the academic institute in Ariel, which will operate from August 2021. In a public declaration, Academia for Equality wrote a letter to the TAU’s administration claiming that “this institutional cooperation, obtained without open debate in the University Senate, is alarming for a variety of moral, legal, professional and technical reasons. First and foremost, the very existence of this institution, which stands on occupied land and serves the population of the occupying nation exclusively, is a war crime and a clear example of apartheid. The recognition of this institution by far-right forces around the world which overlook its inhuman aspect is neither a victory nor an achievement for Israeli society but the opposite. We keep working against this cooperation and call upon our colleagues worldwide to join us.”

The Council for Higher Education should sanction Academia for Equality and warn its supporters at Tel Aviv University. As IAM repeatedly argued, boycotting Ariel University is illegal in Israel since the anti-Boycott Law was enacted.

אקדמיה לשוויון Academia for Equality أكاديميون من أجل ألمساواة· 

23 January at 14:43
Academia for Equality voiced in October its reservations about the “collaboration outline” between the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and the academic institute in Ariel, which is planned to operate starting from August 2021. See comments for our full letter to TAU’s administration (in Hebrew).This institutional cooperation, obtained without open debate in the University Senate, is alarming for a variety of moral, legal, professional and technical reasons. First and foremost, the very existence of this institution, which stands on occupied land and serves the population of the occupying nation exclusively, is a war crime and a clear example of apartheid. The recognition of this institution by far-right forces around the world which overlook its inhuman aspect is neither a victory nor an achievement for Israeli society but the opposite. We keep working against this cooperation and call upon our colleagues worldwide to join us.Read Meron Rapoport’s report at +972 Magazine for all the details (link in comments).
أكاديميون من أجل المساواة | Academia for Equality | אקדמיה לשוויון
לכבוד: 1 באוקטובר, 2020
פרופ’ אהוד גרוסמן, דיקאן הפקולטה לרפואה, אוניברסיטת תל אביב
פרופ’ אריאל פורת, נשיא אוניברסיטת תל אביב
פרופ’ מרק שטייף, רקטור אוניברסיטת תל-אביב
פרופ׳ שגב ברק, יו״ר ארגון הסגל הבכיר, אוניברסיטת תל אביב
מר פלג מיכאלי, יו״ר ארגון הסגל הזוטר, אוניברסיטת תל אביב
גב׳ אבלין מילוא, יו״ר ארגון הסגל המנהלי, אוניברסיטת תל אביב
אנו פונים אליכם בשם “אקדמיה לשוויון”, ארגון המאגד כ- 600 חברים וחברות בקהילה האקדמית ופועל למען
דמוקרטיזציה של המוסדות האקדמיים בישראל ושל החברה הישראלית בכללה . לאחרונה התבשרנו
שהפקולטה לרפואה באוניברסיטת ת”א חתמה עם המוסד האקדמי באריאל על “מתווה” לשיתוף פעולה,
שמתוכנן להתחיל לפעול מאוגוסט 2021 . ברצוננו להאיר את תשומת לבכם לבעייתיות שבמהלך כזה ולדרוש
מכם לסגת ממנו, מהסיבות הבאות :
המוסד האקדמי באריאל איננו ממוקם בשטחה הריבוני של מדינת ישראל אלא נבנה בלב הגדה המערבית, כחלק
מההתנחלות אריאל. בשל כך, הוא נמצא בלב הקונפליקט הלאומי והפוליטי שמפלג את החברה הישראלית כבר
עשורים. שיתוף פעולה מערכתי, מטעם האוניברסיטה או הפקולטה לרפואה, מציב את חברי הסגל והסטודנטים
שמתנגדים להתנחלויות ולכיבוש בדילמה בלתי-אפשרית. יש הבדל מהותי בין שיתופי פעולה אינדיבידואלים עם
אריאל, שכל חוקר/ת יכולים לבצע לפי ראות עיניהם, לבין מהלך קולקטיבי מטעם הפקולטה כולה. שיתוף פעולה
ממוסד כזה מכריח אנשי סגל וסטודנטים בתל-אביב לעזור להתנחלויות ולכיבוש להתבסס וכופה עליהם אימוץ
בפועל של עמדה פוליטית, אשר חלקם מתנגדים לה בכל מאודם. עירוב כזה של האקדמי והפוליטי יוצר דילמה
מוסרית חריפה, כזו שאינה קיימת בהקשר של אף מוסד אקדמי אחר במדינת ישראל, ופוגע בזכויותיהם
הבסיסיות ביותר כאזרחים וכעובדים.
כידוע, הקמתו של המוסד האקדמי באריאל, ביסוסו כ”אוניברסיטה” וכינונה של פקולטה לרפואה במסגרתו
היו כולם מהלכים פוליטיים לעילא, שמטרתם הייתה ל”הלבין”, לנרמל ולתת ארשת מכובדות להתנחלויות –
ובכך להפכן לעובדה שאין לערער עליה. מהלכים אלה בוצעו בראשית הדרך באמצעות גוף מומצא בשם “מל”ג-
יו”ש”, כאשר את האישור ה”אקדמי” הסופי נתן בשם המדינה אלוף פיקוד מרכז, ולא המועצה להשכלה
הגבוהה. כדי ל”תקן” את המעוות הזה, עודכן ב- 2018 חוק המל”ג כך שסמכות המועצה הורחבה אל מעבר
לגבולות המדינה והיא נפרשת מאז על כל הישראלים הנמצאים בשטחים הכבושים. “תיקון” זה הפך את
האקדמיה הישראלית לשותפה פעילה בחוקי ההפרדה האתנית המתקיימים בשטחים הכבושים. לא מיותר
להזכיר גם את התנגדותם הנחרצת של כל דיקני הפקולטות לרפואה בישראל להקמת הפקולטה באריאל ואת
הגיבוי שנתנו בכך להחלטת ות”ת שלא להקים את הפקולטה, וכן את המניפולציות הפוליטיות שננקטו באיוש
מחודש של הוועדה לתכנון ולתקצוב כדי להפוך את ההחלטה על פיה .
ההתנחלויות בשטחים נחשבות ע”י חלק גדול מהציבור בישראל וע”י הרוב המוחלט של הקהילה הבינלאומית
כהפרה של אמנת ז’נבה האוסרת על המדינה הכובשת ליישב את אוכלוסייתה בשטח הכבוש. אי-חוקיות
ההתנחלויות אושרה מחדש בהחלטת מועצת הביטחון 2334 ב- 2016 . בשל עובדות אלו, קרנות המחקר
הבינלאומיות הראשיות הפועלות בישראל, כדוגמת ה – ERC וה BSF , לא נותנות מענקי מחקר וכל מימון שהוא
למוסדות בשטחים הכבושים. יש לשאול האם בכך שהפקולטה לרפואה באוניברסיטת ת”א מעמידה במסגרת
ה”מתווה” הנדון את משאביה לטובת המוסד באריאל אין היא מפירה את תנאי הקרנות שמהן נהנים חוקרים
בפקולטה. ציוד וכוח אדם שמתקיימים בזכות כספי הקרנות הללו יעמדו לרשות אריאל, אף שבתנאי הקרנות
אסור שכספיהן יעברו את הקו הירוק .
מכל הסיבות הללו, אנו דורשים מכם לסגת משיתוף פעולה ממוסד עם הפקולטה לרפואה באריאל .
בברכה ,
אקדמיה לשוויון
أكاديميون من أجل المساواة | Academia for Equality | אקדמיה לשוויון
Tel Aviv University faculty condemn deal with settlement medical schoolThe deal will allow students from Ariel University to do clinical work in TAU’s affiliated hospitals. ‘We’re being forced to support the occupation.’By Meron Rapoport January 21, 2021

Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine has signed a student exchange agreement with Ariel University, located in the settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank. The deal will allow students from Ariel University’s Adelson School of Medicine to be placed in hospitals affiliated with Tel Aviv University for their clinical practice.

Tel Aviv University spokesperson Tomer Velmer hinted that the agreement was signed as a result of external pressure by Israel’s Council for Higher Education, the supervisory body for universities and colleges in Israel that is headed by the education minister. However, the Council denies that it demanded or coerced Tel Aviv University to agree to this cooperation.

Sackler’s dean, Prof. Ehud Grossman, sent a letter to faculty members in September 2020 to inform them that the university’s medical school will “begin teaching students from the faculty of medicine at Ariel University in the run-up to August 2021,” in accordance with the deal. In the letter, Grossman also explained that the agreement was reached “with the goal of maintaining the quality and level of instruction and allowing both faculties to operate optimally.”

The Sackler Faculty of Medicine is affiliated with several hospitals in the center of the country, which medical students are placed in during the clinical phase of their studies. During this practice, the students spend time in various hospital wards shadowing doctors who teach at Tel Aviv University and keeping up with patients’ progress.

Since the faculty at Ariel University is not “affiliated” with any hospital, it therefore needs assistance from an existing medical school to allow its students clinical access. The lack of affiliation seems to be the impetus for the letter from the dean of Tel Aviv University’s medical school.

According to a source who was involved in the discussions between the Council for Higher Education and the Planning and Budgeting Committee, a subcommittee responsible for funding Israel’s higher education institutions, Ariel University is paying Tel Aviv University a “high fee” for teaching students from Ariel. The source asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions. However, both universities refused to say how much money Tel Aviv University will make from the agreement.

Israel’s first settlement medical school

The Adelson School of Medicine at Ariel University was established in August 2018. The cornerstone for the faculty building, which received funding from American pro-settlement billionaire Sheldon Adelson, was laid even before Ariel University obtained the necessary authorization for the faculty’s establishment.

According to Tel Aviv faculty members, the school’s opening was politically motivated and pushed along by far-right leader Naftali Bennett during his tenure as education minister between 2015 and 2019. For example, the Committee of University Heads, a voluntary body composed of the presidents, rectors, and directors-general of Israel’s universities, opposed the establishment of the school. In a letter it sent to the Council for Higher Education, it claimed the decision was abrupt and seemed “to be dictated by the political echelon.”

Three university representatives who sit on the Planning and Budgeting Committee claimed that Bennett’s actions amounted to “political intervention in the committee’s work.” In a discussion the Planning and Budgeting Committee held in 2019, the professional echelon expressed reservations about establishing a medical faculty in Ariel, due to the lack of hospitals in the area that medical students can undergo clinical training in. “It was clear that Ariel did not have the infrastructure and capabilities, but the political echelon pushed for it,” says a source who was involved in the discussions and asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions.

Despite the professionals’ opposition, the Planning and Budgeting Committee approved the establishment of Ariel’s medical school. But in February 2019, Israel’s attorney general ordered the committee to hold a re-vote, after it was revealed that one of the members of the committee was up for promotion by Ariel University.

Days later, the committee voted to reverse its decision to open a medical school in Ariel. Yet Bennett was determined not to give up.

That same February, the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria — a body that used to operate under the auspices of the military commander of the West Bank, and that supervised Israeli higher education in the West Bank under a similar authority to that of the Council for Higher Education in Israel proper — convened to approve the establishment of the faculty in Ariel. Just two days after the vote, the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria was dissolved, when the Knesset voted to place Ariel University and other West Bank institutions under the control of the Council for Higher Education.

In November 2019, the Planning and Budgeting Committee approved the school’s budget, after then-Education Minister Rafi Peretz replaced some of the committee’s members for previously opposing the school’s establishment. With that, Ariel University’s Adelson School of Medicine was ready to officially open.

‘Cooperation forces faculty to support the occupation’

The letter from the dean of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine provoked resentment among some faculty members at Tel Aviv University. “They try to whitewash [the issue], as if the occupied territories and Israel are the same thing,” said a faculty member at the medical school who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions. “They want to stick to a seemingly non-political agenda, when in fact it is actually political. Now I’m being forced to cooperate with this.”

The faculty member explained that the deal prevents him from opting out of the collaboration with Ariel University. “Once we receive the students, I will not be able to refuse to teach them. I will not be able to tell students from Ariel ‘do not enter the department.’”

Academia for Equality, an organization that includes 600 academics in Israel working to promote democratization, equality, and access to higher education for all communities living in Israel, demanded Sackler withdraw from the agreement. In a letter sent to the university administration on Jan. 10, the group said: “Cooperation with such an institution forces faculty and students at Tel Aviv [university] to support the settlements and the occupation, and forces them to adopt a political position that some [faculty and students] strongly oppose.”

The letter stated that many international research funds do not provide grants or funding to institutions in the occupied territories. “One must ask whether the fact that the Faculty of Medicine in Tel Aviv diverts its resources toward the institution in Ariel as part of the ‘deal’ in question does not violate the conditions attached to the funds, which are enjoyed by researchers in the faculty,” since the “equipment and manpower made available by these funds will be made available to Ariel.”

The letter further states that Ariel University is “putting faculty members and students who oppose settlements and occupation in an impossible dilemma,” and that the deal “violates their most basic rights.” The letter claims that there is a “substantial difference” between individual lecturers who collaborate with Ariel and a “collective process on behalf of the entire faculty.”

Senior lecturers at Tel Aviv University also wondered why the decision to collaborate with Ariel did not come up for discussion in the university’s academic senate, which approves new curricula, among other things. The university explained that the deal was not part of a new curriculum, but rather would allow Ariel to use their clinical facilities at various affiliated hospitals. However, according to the Sackler faculty member, Ariel’s faculty members will likely make use of “resources that belong to the doctors and patients” at Tel Aviv University.

Tel Aviv University spokesperson Tomer Velmer hinted that the Council for Higher Education had forced the university into the deal with Ariel. “The deal was signed more than a year ago, after the opening of a medical school in Ariel was approved in principle by the Council for Higher Education,” said Velmer. “The agreement was required at the request of the Council and the Planning and Budgeting Committee.”

The Council of Higher Education offers a different version of the events. “The deal does not require the authorization of the Planning and Budgeting Committee,” Beata Krantz, the Council’s spokesperson said, “but rather the committee is required to ensure during the authorization process that there are enough practicum spaces for students who are beginning their studies, and therefore Ariel University was requested to present before the committee where it was planning to carry out the practicum. The Planning and Budgeting Committee neither demands nor requires the signing of the agreement, and the institutions have administrative freedom to do as they please in this context.”

In other words, the Council of Higher Education claims it never demanded Tel Aviv University sign the agreement, and that the understanding was reached between the two institutions so that Ariel’s medical students could have a place to conduct their practical training.

Velmer’s comment did not address a concern raised by Academia for Equality regarding grants from international research foundations such as the European Research Council and the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation, both of which deny funding for academic research initiatives beyond the Green Line. The EU’s Horizon 2020 plan — a seven-year, 80 billion euros fund that provides financial support for research, technological development, and innovation — also refers to the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories, and thus those areas are not included in its agreement with Israel.

“Clinical training for students in Ariel will not harm the high level of clinical training of the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University,” Velmer said in his response.

“According to the agreement, the hospitals in question are affiliated with Tel Aviv University only, and the allocation of students is determined by Tel Aviv University’s dean of medicine with regard to the needs and capacity of the hospitals,” Velmer said. “It should be emphasized that according to the agreement, the training of the students is done separately, with Ariel using the hospitals only when not in use by Tel Aviv University, and in any case, as stated there will be no harm to the training of students at Tel Aviv University.”

Ariel University Spokesperson Naama Cohen Yehezkeli stated in response that “the agreement signed a few years ago between the universities is intended to ensure that the training of medical students is optimal and professional, as part of the national effort to increase the number of doctors in Israel, while giving young men and women a proper opportunity to study medicine in Israel.”

A version of this article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

Meron Rapoport is an editor at Local Call.  

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Yaara Benger Alaluf shared a photo.  

21 January at 13:50  

אקדמיה לשוויון Academia for Equality أكاديميون من أجل ألمساواة· 

ביום שני הקרוב תקיים עמותת “זוכרות” סיור וירטואלי ביישוב הפלסטיני ההרוס אלשֵיח’ מֻוַנִּס. היישוב, בו חיו למעלה מ-2200 תושבים, נכבש במרץ 1948, תושביו גורשו ולא הותר להם לשוב, בתיהם יושבו זמנית על ידי משפחות יהודיות והחל משנות הששים הרסו השלטונות הישראליים את המבנים והקימו על חורבותיהם את אוניברסיטת תל אביב ומוסדות נוספים.זו הזדמנות עבור כולנו, ובעיקר עבור חברות וחברי הקהילה האקדמית של אוניברסיטת תל אביב, ללמוד על ההיסטוריה של אלשֵיח’ מֻוַנִּס ועל הווה של הסתרה ומחיקה. זו הזדמנות לחשוב על המשמעות של שיתוף פעולה קולוניאלי ועל הדרכים להתנגד לו.


התנצלויות פומביות, הסרת פסלים, מימון מחקרים לבירור המעורבות של המוסד עם עוולות, הענקת מלגות לבנות ובני קהילות ילידיות או מדוכאות, תשלום פיצויים על שימוש באדמות – אלו הן חלק מהפרקטיקות בהן נוקטים בשנים האחרונות לא מעט (אבל בוודאי לא מספיק) מוסדות אקדמיים ברחבי העולם כחלק מההכרה בשיתוף הפעולה ההיסטורי והמתמשך שלהם עם עוולות שונים לרבות גזל אדמות של עמים ילידיים, תמיכה בסחר עבדים וקבלת “תרומות מזוהמות”.נראה שהאקדמיה הישראלית רחוקה שנות אור מתהליך כן של הכרה ותיקון. קמפוסים בנויים על כפרים מחוקים וקברים מתפוררים ללא כל אזכור של ההיסטוריה של המקום ושל ההווה של תושביו הפליטים, תמיכה והכרה במוסד אקדמי בעל מאפייני אפרטהייד מובהקים, שיתוף פעולה צמוד עם תעשיית הנשק והביון ועוד ועוד… במציאות הזו אנחנו גאות במיוחד בחברות וחברי אקדמיה לשוויון שלוקחות אחריות וחושפות את היסודות הרקובים של האקדמיה הישראלית, בין היתר באמצעות הובלת סיורים ביקורתיים בשטח הקמפוסים.בנוסף, חברות וחברי אקדמיה לשוויון מתעדים באופן שוטף את התמיכה רחבת ההיקף של מוסדות אקדמיים ישראליים בכיבוש ובשימור מבני כוח אי-שוויוניים בגבולות 1948 באמצעות מאגר המידע המקוון “אקדמיה מגויסת”. לא מאוחר לעצור, לקחת אחריות ולתקן.


בתגובות: קישור לסיור של זוכרות (ישודר גם בעמוד הפייסבוק Zochrot / זוכרות / ذاكرات)קישור למאגר המידע #אקדמיה_מגויסתבתמונה: לוחמים אחרי כיבוש היישוב ליד ביתו של אברהים אבו כחיל, הבית הידוע היום בכינויו “הבית הירוק” ומשמש כמועדון לסגל האוניברסיטה, מסעדה, אולם אירועים ואולם כנסים. אוסף יהודה זיו, יד בן צבי.


The Adelson School of Medicine

The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson School of Medicine at Ariel University was established in August 2018 and will begin accepting medical students in the 2018-2019 academic year. Great effort went into designing an advanced educational program that will empower students with comprehensive knowledge both in medical sciences and clinical medicine to ensure delivery of total patient care. Our integrative approach to medical studies highlights personalized medicine, robotics, digitalized medicine and evidence-based decision making to encourage graduates to be inquisitive, research-oriented and resolute physicians with excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Self-learning is of prime importance in our program to keep abreast of the ever-expanding body of medical knowledge. Special emphasis will be given to comprehensive courses in translational bioinformatics using big data, clinical molecular biology and human genetics. To nurture excellent communication skills, exposure to patients and real medical scenarios will be initiated from the early stages of the program.

The medical school is based on a four-year course of post-graduate studies. The first year includes courses in basic medical sciences such as anatomy, physiology, clinical microbiology, clinical immunology, epidemiology and clinical pharmacology. The second year focuses on integrative teaching of the body systems in health and disease. The clinical and basic science-related aspects of body systems, such as the gastrointestinal tract, the cardiovascular system, infection and immunity, will be highlighted. The third and fourth years are devoted to hands-on clinical studies, based on small group bed-side interaction in hospitals and in the community.


Higher Education Committee blocks medical school at Ariel

The Yesha Council accused the Council of Higher Education of “damaging the future of Israel’s medicine.”


The future of Israeli healthcare took a blow on Thursday when the Council for Higher Education voted against the establishment of a medical school at Ariel University.
“This was to be an essential and critical component in increasing the number of medical students in Israel,” said Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman regarding the decision.

According to the Israel Medical Association, Israel faces a severe healthcare crisis, largely due to a lack of both licensed medical personnel and training vacancies for students.
“It is inconceivable that more than half of Israel’s medical graduates come from abroad in schools that are not always satisfactory,” Litzman said.
Thursday’s vote undoes a previous decision made by the council’s Planning and Budgeting Committee in July 2018, when it voted 4-2 to establish the medical school at Ariel University, which is in the West Bank’s Area C – under Israeli civil and military control.
Six months later in December, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber ordered a re-vote due to an alleged conflict of interests. One of the members of the committee, Dr. Rivka Wadmany Shauman, had originally voted in favor of establishing the faculty of medicine at Ariel University – even though she was a candidate to teach at the institution as part of the teacher training program.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett lashed out at Thursday’s decision, stating that he intends to “fight the university cartel until we establish the Faculty of Medicine at Ariel University.

“Israel is crying out for doctors, and [the committee is] holding it back,” he continued.
The Yesha Council accused the Council of Higher Education of “damaging the future of Israel’s medicine.”
“Israeli academia is motivated by extraneous considerations and has stopped the scientific development of the State of Israel with its own hands,” the Yesha statement said.
The council had previously found that Ariel University’s medical program meets all the requirements for quality training of medical practitioners in Israel. As such, despite the committee’s decision, the university said medical studies will begin in October, as planned.
Ariel held an inaugural ceremony for the new medical school in summer 2018, shortly after the initial vote.
The school was founded in 1982 as a branch of Bar-Ilan University. It became an independent college in 2004 and in 2012 was granted accreditation by the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria.
Today, Ariel University is home to more than 15,000 students and 300 faculty members. In the field of health sciences, the university already offers a pre-med program and has 30 research labs.
The new medical faculty is named after Sheldon Adelson, the American billionaire and his Israeli-born wife, Miriam. It was reported that the Adelsons donated $5 million to the medical school, nearly a quarter of the estimated $28.4 million price tag.
Israel currently has five other medical schools: the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University in Safed; the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa; the Sackler Faculty of Medicine of Tel Aviv University; the Hadassah School of Medicine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and the Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba.
Ariel University said in a statement: “We are confident that the competent authorities will support us through this legal process to ensure we can move forward without hindrance.”

Academics Shift their Research to Political Activism


Editorial Note

IAM has repeatedly demonstrated that political activist-academics have penetrated humanities and social sciences in Israel.  Once tenured, many have switched their field of research into subjects for which they were not hired and for which they have no qualifications, but which fit their political agenda.   Although such practices would not have been tolerated in a properly managed university, the activists had received continuous support from their political-activist colleagues who recruited and promoted them.

Dr. Anat Matar, a Tel Aviv University lecturer of Philosophy, is a case in point. A veteran member of the Communist Party. She first made her name as one of the leaders of the group ‘Boycott from Within.’  In the last decades, she has campaigned for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. She is also a member of ‘Academia for Equality’ that aims to “struggle against the complicity of Israeli academia with oppression and denial of education in the occupied Palestinian territories.” 

Next week Matar plans to participate in a Webinar titled “Political Arrests as Continuous Suppression: Conversation with Adv. Abeer Baker, Adv. Janan Abdu and Dr. Anat Matar.” The event was organized by the group “Zochrot,” as the invitation says, “We provide access to information and teach about the Nakba that began in 1948 and never ended. The Nakba is the continuous colonization, oppression, and dispossession of the Palestinian People in various ways and forms. One of them is arrests, administrative and other. The General Security Services has always arrested Palestinians on vague allegations with a weak legal basis, which are received with apathy by the Israeli public, but it seems that in the past year, arrests have become more frequent and common than they have been for a long time, perhaps under cover of Covid-19. We have recently witnessed a wave of arrests of journalists, writers, intellectuals, and students from the young political leadership of the Palestinian opposition to Israeli control. This also includes arrests of Palestinians in areas 48, with Israeli citizenship, who refuse to succumb to the split imposed by the Israeli government and insist on working for liberation alongside Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and the Diaspora.”

Other participants are Adv. Abeer Baker – a Palestinian lawyer specializing in prisoners’ rights and representing Palestinian political prisoners in hundreds of cases and petitions.  Adv. Janan Abdu – a lawyer at the legal department of the Public Committee Against Torture.  Worth noting that Baker also works at the University of Haifa Prisoners’ Rights and Rehabilitation Clinic. Abdu is the wife of Ameer Makhoul, sentenced in 2010 to nine years in prison on espionage for Hezbollah and was released in 2019.  

 Prof. Yehouda Shenhav-Saharabani is another case in point.  He was hired to research and teach sociology of organizations at Tel Aviv University.  With his tenure secured, he admitted to switching fields after joining the Democratic Rainbow Coalition, Hakeshet Hademocratit Hamizrahit, an outreach for lower-class Mizrahim. Shenhav was influenced by Ella Shohat, whose book Mizrahim in Israel: Zionism from the Standpoint of its Jewish Victims was a replay of Edward Said’s “Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims.” According to Shohat, the Mizrahim, like the Palestinians, were victims of white Ashkenazi colonialists.  To make the parallel stick, she placed the Mizrahim within the region’s cultural sphere and in opposition to European Jews.  Shohat blamed the Ashkenazi Zionist ideology for alienating the immigrants from their cultural kin, the Arabs, and with “de-Orientalizing” them to fit the Western image of the State of Israel.  Shohat’s ideas found fertile ground in Mizrahi intellectuals’ identity movement, which subsequently created the Hakeshet Hademocratit Hamizrahit. Shenahv was a leading activist in this circle, although he was an unlikely candidate, having been born to a well-to-do middle-class family of Iraqi immigrants; his father worked for the Israeli intelligence.  Shenhav was employed by the Israeli Military Industry that sponsored his Ph.D. studies at Stanford University.  To bolster his political agenda, he published a book claiming that the Mizrahim were actually Arab Jews. The study aimed at providing academic legitimacy to the goal of creating an anti-Zionist Palestinian-Mizrahi alliance. After signing the 2004 Olga Document, a declaration of support for a bi-national state, Shenhav wrote a number of monographs on the subject.  Van Leer Institute, a highly activist leftist organization, boosted Shenhav-Shaharabani’s career.  

Recently, the Van Leer Institute and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University announced an annual prize for translation and research in the thought of Shenhav-Shaharbani. “The Yehouda Shenhav-Shaharbani Prize for Translation and Research.”  The press release states that “The work of Yehouda Shenhav-Shaharbani in research, teaching, translation and public arena position him as one of the outstanding intellectuals of Israel today. The variety of topics that he researched spans many fields of knowledge, from statistics and engineering, through the philosophy of science, the study of bureaucracy, and postcolonial studies, to literature and translation. His commitment to the sociology of knowledge and social history runs like a thread between the fields. During his decades of work at the Van Leer Institute, he edited and founded prominent journals and publishing platforms (“Theory and Criticism;” “Maktoob;” and “Theory and Criticism in Context“), wrote and edited many books that influenced generations of students studying at universities in Israel and abroad and served as the head of many research teams. Throughout his career, Shenhav-Shaharbani has served and continues to be a loyal mentor to generations of students, researchers in various research fields and founded courses taught at many institutions around the country. Shenhav-Shaharbani also worked outside the ivory tower and became one of the major public intellectuals that influenced generations of leaders in civil society, in social, cultural and educational organizations.” 

According to the press release, “Constituting an award for research and translation on the name of Prof. Shenhav-Shaharabani is a tribute to his activity and remarkable generosity. The prize marks for us, the social science community, working values and intellectual and public activity, and contributes to the continuity of the unique and acute intellectual tradition outlined by Shenhav-Shaharbani in his academic and public life.”

In 2021, the prize of $1000 will be awarded for research in knowledge and science in the social sciences. Preference will be given to unpublished articles, which combine sociology, history, and philosophy of knowledge, or articles dealing with the theory and criticism of its various shades and future manifestations. The door is open for articles criticizing the work of Shenhav-Shaharbani. The article will be presented at an annual session by the winner, and Shenhav-Shaharbani will respond to it. The Prize committee in 2021 is Adriana Kemp, Areej-Sabagh-Khouri, and Gil Eyal.

Israeli universities have traditionally been reluctant to take a stand against faculty that switched fields to promote their political agenda.  By doing so, they defaulted on their fiduciary responsibilities to students, the research capital, and the taxpayer.  Students have been taught by faculty that hardly research in their designated fields. The research capital in humanities and social science was depleted, and the taxpayers were forced to support these activists’ political agenda.

Webinar Registration

מעצרים פוליטיים כדיכוי מתמשךשיחה עם עו”ד עביר בכר, עו”ד ג’נאן עבדו וד”ר ענת מטר
בזוכרות, אנחנו מנגישות מידע ומלמדות על הנכבה שהתחילה ב-1948 ומעולם לא הסתיימה. הנכבה היא הקולוניזציה, הדיכוי והנישול המתמשכים של העם הפלסטיני בשלל אופנים וצורות. אחת מהם היא מעצרים, מנהליים ואחרים. השב”כ תמיד עצר פלסטינים בטענות עמומות עם בסיס משפטי רעוע, שמתקבלות בשוויון נפש בציבור הישראלי, אבל נדמה שבשנה האחרונה מעצרים הפכו תכופים ונפוצים יותר משהיו זה זמן רב, אולי בחסות הקורונה.

בתקופה האחרונה אנו עדות לגל מעצרים של עיתונאים, סופרים, אנשי רוח וסטודנטים מההנהגה הפוליטית הצעירה של ההתנגדות הפלסטינית לשליטה הישראלית. זה כולל גם מעצרים של פלסטינים בתחומי 48, בעלי אזרחות ישראלית, שמסרבים להיכנע לפיצול שכופה השלטון הישראלי ומתעקשים לפעול לשחרור לצד פלסטינים בגדה המערבית, בעזה ובגולה.

מה המצב כרגע ומה הרקע לו? מה מעצרים עושים לעצור.ה ומה מעצרים המוניים עושים לחברה כולה – לאקדמיה, לתרבות, לסיכוי לבנות חברה חופשית? מה המטרות של משטר המעצרים ומה אנחנו יכולות לעשות מולו?

אנא מלאו פרטים למטה כדי לקבל לינק להשתתפות.

עו”ד עביר בכר – משפטנית פלסטינית שמתמחה בזכויות אסירים וייצגה אסירים פוליטיים פלסטינים במאות תיקים ועתירות.
ד”ר ענת מטר – מרצה באוניברסיטת תל אביב ופעילה פוליטית, חברת אקדמיה לשוויון
עו”ד ג’נאן עבדו – עורכת דין במחלקה המשפטית של הוועד נגד עינויים

Feb 15, 2021 08:30 PM in Jerusalem


———- Forwarded message ———
From: Dganit Waldman <>
Date: Sun, Jan 24, 2021 at 9:42 AM
‪Subject: [SocSci-IL] קול קורא לפרס יהודה שנהב שהרבני לדוקטורנטים/יות ופוסט דוקטורנט/יות‬
To: <>

שלום רב,

מעבירה לידיעתכן/ם את הקול קורא לפרס יהודה שנהב שהרבני לדוקטורנטים/יות ופוסט דוקטורנט/יות.


 דגנית וולדמן | עוזרת מנהלית

 החוג לסוציולוגיה ואנתרופולוגיה | אוניברסיטת תל-אביב


משרד: 03-6406731 | אתר החוג

פרס יהודה שנהב-שהרבני לתרגום ולמחקר

מכון ון ליר והחוג לסוציולוגיה ואנתרופולוגיה באוניברסיטת תל אביב מכריזים על הענקת פרס שנתי לתרגום ולמחקר במסורת המחשבה של יהודה שנהב-שהרבני  .פועלו של יהודה שנהב-שהרבני במחקר, בהוראה, בתרגום ובזירה הציבורית מציב אותו כאחד האינטלקטואלים הבולטים בישראל כיום. מגוון הנושאים שחקר משתרע על פני שדות ידע רבים, החל בסטטיסטיקה והנדסה, דרך פילוסופיה של המדע, חקר בירוקרטיות ולימודים פוסטקולוניאליים, וכלה בספרות ובתרגום. מחויבותו לסוציולוגיה של הידע ולהיסטוריה חברתית עוברת כחוט השני בין התחומים. במשך עשרות שנות פעילותו במכון ון ליר ערך וייסד כתבי עת ובמות פרסום בולטות (“תיאוריה וביקורת”, “מכתוב”, “הקשרי עיון וביקורת”), כתב וערך ספרים רבים שהשפיעו על דורות של תלמידים שמלמדים באוניברסיטאות בארץ ובחו”ל, וכיהן כראש תחומי מחקר רבים. לאורך כל הדרך שנהב-שהרבני שימש ומשמש חונך נאמן לדורות של סטודנטיות וסטודנטים, חוקרות וחוקרים במגוון תחומי מחקר, וייסד קורסים הנלמדים במוסדות רבים ברחבי הארץ  .שנהב-שהרבני פועל גם מחוץ למגדל השן והפך לאחד האינטלקטואלים הציבוריים המרכזיים שהשפיעו על דורות של מנהיגים בחברה האזרחית בארגונים חברתיים ,תרבותיים וחינוכיים .פרס על שם יהודה שנהב-שהרבני יינתן לסירוגין בתחום התרגום ובתחום המחקר. לזוכה יוענקו פרס כספי של 1,000 דולר, לוחית פרס ומארז ספרים מהוצאת מכתוב. בתחום התרגום הפרס מיועד למתרגמים על תרגום פרוזה שטרם ראתה אור משפה לא-מערבית ,ועדיפות תינתן לתרגום מערבית. בתחום המחקר הפרס מיועד לדוקטורנטים.יות ופוסט-דוקטורנטים.יות על מאמר מחקרי מקורי בתחומי ידע ודעת במדעי החברה .בשנת תשפ”א יינתן הפרס למחקר בתחום הידע והדעת במדעי החברה. עדיפות תינתן למאמרים שטרם פורסמו, המשלבים סוציולוגיה, היסטוריה ופילוסופיה של הידע, או למאמרים העוסקים בתחום התיאוריה והביקורת על גווניה השונים ומופעיה העתידיים .הדלת פתוחה למאמרי ביקורת על עבודתו של שנהב-שהרבני. המאמר יוצג במושב שנתי על ידי הזוכה, ושנהב-שהרבני יגיב לו .וועדת הפרס תשפ”א: אדריאנה קמפ, אריז’ סבאע’ ח’ורי וגיל אייל.הגשת מועמדות: דוקטורנטים.יות ופוסט-דוקטורנטים.יות במדעי החברה ישלחו כתב יד באורך של לא יותר מ- 12,000 מילים לראשת ועדת הפרס (, ויצרפו מכתב בן כ-200 מילה המנמק בקצרה את מועמדותם. התאריך האחרון להגשת כתבי יד הוא 1.3.2021.אירוע הענקת הפרס למאמר הזוכה ייערך ביום חמישי ,10  ביוני 2021, בשעה 18:00 באוניברסיטת תל אביב  .מיסוד פרס למחקר ולתרגום על שמו של פרופ’ שנהב-שהרבני מהווה הוקרה ראויה לפועלו ולמסורת הנתינה יוצאת הדופן שלו. הפרס מסמן עבורנו, קהילת מדעני החברה בישראל, ערכי עבודה ופעולה אינטלקטואלית וציבורית, ותורם להמשכיות המסורת האינטלקטואלית הייחודית והאקוטית שמתווה שנהב-שהרבני בחייו האקדמיים והציבוריים. 


קשר השתיקה התפרסם במוסף “הארץ” ב- 27.12.96

קשר השתיקה

יהודה שנהב

מדוע אוהבים ההיסטוריונים החדשים לעסוק בדיכוי הפלסטינים, אך מתעלמים מפרשת ילדי תימן. מדוע אין בישראל שמאל אמיתי, ודיבורים על פער עדתי נתפסים כהסתה?

ההיסטוריונים החדשים ראויים לשבח: הם סייעו לנו להתנער מהבלים ולהג מתוצרת הפוליטרוקים של הציונות, לימדו אותנו על פשעיהם של ממלאי פקודות לדורותיהם, על טכניקות הגירוש, על פעולות ‘התגמול’ (היזומות), על יחסו האמביוולנטי של היישוב לטבח יהדות אירופה ועל אידיאולוגית השוויון (המזויף) כמיתוס מגייס.

          אבל להיסטוריונים אלה יש גם נקודה עיוורת, ולכן קשר שתיקה נוסף טרם פוצח: אני מתכוון לקשר השתיקה הבין-דורי בין הקומיסרים האידיאולוגיים של הציונות המגשימה (“מלח הארץ”) לבין האינטלקטואלים של השמאל הישראלי בן ימינו (גם כן “מלח הארץ”). זו הסכמה שבשתיקה בין שני דורות של הגמוניה אשכנזית – כלפי הבעיה המזרחית.

          בעניין זה נשאר הדור הצעיר של האינטלקטואלים האשכנזים, לרבות ההיסטוריונים החדשים, נאמן ומזדהה עם דור הוריו. “השמאל” הישראלי הציוני מוכן להשקיע את כל כולו בחשיפת העוולות שנעשו ונעשים לפלסטינים, אך אינו מוכן להתייצב ולהוקיע את דור ההורים על גזענותו כלפי היהודים המזרחים. חשוב יותר: דור זה אינו מוכן כלל להודות, ששאלת המזרחיות היא בעיה אקטואלית מרכזית. כך האינטלקטואלים וכך הפוליטיקאים: דדי צוקר, יוסי שריד וחבריהם אינם מפגינים כל מעש למען הקבוצות, שהיו צריכות לעמוד בראש מעיניהם. הם מתהדרים בתווית “שמאל” כפי שדור הוריהם השתמש במושג “שוויון”. בדיוק כפי שהוריהם לא היו שוויוניים, הם אינם אנשי שמאל. התוצאה היא, מזרחים מן המעמד הנמוך, פעילי שכונות ואף אינטלקטואלים מזרחים המפגינים עוינות גם כלפי תנועת העבודה המסורתית וגם כלפי יורשיה. מדוע להוט השמאל לעסוק בבעיה הפלסטינית, ומדוע הוא מכחיש את הסוגיה המזרחית, שלהחרפתה הוא שותף? עצם העובדה שהדור הצעיר של “השמאל” הישראלי אינו מזהה את המכנה המשותף הבולט בין שתי הקהילות הללו – הפלסטינים והמזרחים – מעוררת חשד ותמיהה. אבל, בעצם, הסברה אינו קשה: הוקעת העוול שנעשה לפלסטינים אינה מסכנת את מעמדם של האינטלקטואלים האשכנזים בני דורנו. היא לא מסכנת אותם כקבוצה תרבותית הגמונית בתוך החברה הישראלית ולא כמעמד כלכלי. היא לא מסכנת את הגדרתם העצמית כנציגי התרבות המערבית בתוך המזרח הערבי (או ה”ים-תיכוני”, אם נשתמש בביטוי מטפורי מעדן למען החרדים מהתווית “ערבי”). העיסוק בעוול, שנעשה לפלסטינים, מספק את זרי הדפנה של ההומניזם, את העמדה היוקרתית של שוחטי פרות קדושות ושואפי שלום, את תווית המרדנות, את הקתרזיס לנוכח עוולות דור ההורים. כלומר המזרח – הבלתי מוכר, המאיים, הלא-רציונלי – מקובל על ה”רדיקלים”, כל עוד הוא נשאר מחוץ לגדר – כמו הפלסטינים. הוא ניתן לעיכול, כל עוד אפשר לסמנו, להפכו ל”אחר” ולהרחיקו. מתוך זה, אפשר להבין למה תומך השמאל הישראלי בהפרדה ובשתי מדינות לשני עמים.

          בשל אותו חשש מן המזרח פיתחו ישראלים רבים, לרבות אנשי שמאל ברוח מרצ, הכחשה כלפי מזרחיותם של היהודים המזרחים, שהרי את היהודים המזרחים אי אפשר להפוך ל”אחר” או להוציא אל מחוץ לגדר. לכל היותר, אפשר לבנות כבישים עוקפי עיירות פיתוח ושכונות עוני. ההכחשה היא אמצעי  ההגנה: אם יכירו אנשי השמאל בעוול שנעשה למזרחים וישאפו לתקן אותו, יצטרכו לתקן גם את עצמם. הם יצטרכו לוותר על מעמדם ההגמוני, לחלק אחרת את העוגה הלאומית, להשתלב באזור כשווים ולא כפטרונים. הם יצטרכו לשנות את תכניות הלימודים, מהמוסדות להשכלה גבוהה ועד לגן הילדים. הם יידרשו להקים אקדמיה למוסיקה קלאסית ערבית (למשל אנדלוסית), ללמד מקורות של תרבות עמי ערב (ולא רק מקורות של תרבות המערב), ללמוד וללמד את השירה והשפה הערבית. הם יצטרכו להיפרד מן הזיקה הבלעדית לאירופה ולצפון אמריקה, ממה שנתפס בעיניהם אוניברסלי. נוכח כל הסכנות האלה הנשק האפקטיבי הוא שתיקה: ההכרה במזרחיות כתופעה פנים ישראלית היא טאבו.

          מתוך כך אפשר להבין את שטחיות עמדתו של “השמאל” כלפי הפלסטינים. השמאל הוא פרו-פלסטיני, כל עוד אין הפלסטינים תובעים את זכות השיבה, כל עוד יש חלוקה, כל עוד יש הפרדה, כל עוד מוותרים הפלסטינים על בתיהם בטלביה וביפו, כל עוד תישאר המדינה יהודית (ומערבית) וכל עוד ימשיכו הפלסטינים המכונים “ערביי ישראל” להיות נוכחים נפקדים. אילו היו האינטלקטואלים של השמאל משוחררים באמת מהמיתוסים של דור ההורים, הם היו חושפים את הציונות כתנועה אירופית אנטי-מזרחית, אשר הגיעה למזרח (מסיבות מוצדקות או לא-מוצדקות) ולא ראתה בו ישות פוליטית, אלא מדבר הזקוק להפריה. אילו היו ההורים והבנים – האשכנזים – מכירים במזרח כבישות פוליטית, הם היו מבחינים גם במכנה המשותף בין המזרחיות היהודית למזרחיות המוסלמית והנוצרית. הם היו מבינים, שהאנטגוניזם, רב השנים, בין המזרחים לבין הערבים, הוא בחלקו תוצר של תקיעת טריז אירופי בין מזרחים למזרחים. אבל השמאל הישראלי ממשיך את מדיניות העיוורון וההתנשאות של הוריו השמרנים.

          ברור, אפוא, מדוע עסקה החברה הישראלית כל השנים בדה-פוליטיזציה של שאלת המזרחים. המזרחיות הוצגה כקוריוז מקומי, כאוסף מיצגים תרבותיים כמו נענע, חומוס, עבודות-יד תימניות או מופלטה. כל ניסיון להפכה לשאלה פוליטית נתקל בדה-לגיטימציה ובהכחשה כמו כל טאבו חברתי אחר. מצד אחד, עודדו המפלגות הגדולות את  המזרחיות ברמה הארגונית, כמקור לגיוס קולות. מצד שני, שללו את המזרחיות ברמה האידיאולוגית. מצע עדתי הוצג כסותר את מיזוג הגלויות ואחדות העם. בשנות החמישים הוצגו רשימות מזרחיות כמזוהות עם גורמים עוינים, והפנתרים השחורים הוצגו כתנועה מסוכנת למדינה.

          תהליכי הדה-פוליטיזציה הללו השפיעו גם על ההיסטוריונים החדשים. למרות הרדיקליות שלהם, לכאורה, הם אינם עוסקים, באופן מעמיק, בהיסטוריוגרפיה מזרחית – למרות שנושאים הזועקים לטיפול מונחים ממש לרגליהם. שתי דוגמאות קטנות, ידועות למדי: עדיין לא נעשה מחקר מקיף ובעל תהודה על המניפולציות של התנועה הציונית בהבאת יהודי תימן. משום מה ההיסטוריונים החדשים לא מתעניינים בכך. אף אחד מן האינטלקטואלים בני דורנו לא עוסק באנלוגיות בין אי-כניעתם של התימנים לבעלי האדמות במושבות לבין אי-כניעתם של התימנים בפרשת עוזי משולם. בתפיסה הפולקלוריסטית האשכנזית, התימנים נשארו נקיים, צייתנים, אוהבי עבודה וציוניים.

          אף אחד מההיסטוריונים החדשים – לוחמי זכויות האזרח – לא התעורר לעסוק בפרשיות המחרידות של חטיפות ילדי תימן. מי מהם הפגין למען הקמת ועדות חקירה? באותה מידה, אף אחד מן ההיסטוריונים החדשים לא עוסק ברצינות מספקת בעדויות על הפרובוקציות של התנועה הציונית בעיראק, בתחילת שנות החמישים, שנועדו לזרז את העלייה לישראל. כמעט אף אחד מהם לא שואל כיצד הסכימה התנועה הציונית להלאמה של רכוש יהודי עיראק, ואם לא הייתה זו תוצאה של חשש, שהמפגש של עיראקים אמידים עם המעברות, יחזיר אותם בהמוניהם אל ארץ מוצאם.

          אלה, שהתנסו בפעילות מזרחית, יודעים לספר עד כמה חרדים האשכנזים בכל פעם שעולה שאלת הכמיהה של מזרחים לזהות ייחודית. יש לחרדה זו, בדרך כלל, כמה תגובות אשכנזיות אופייניות. בולטות בהן שתיים: הטענה שאין טעם לעסוק בעוולות היסטוריות, שהרי גם קבוצות אתניות אחרות, כמו הפולנים, ההונגרים או הרומנים סבלו קשיי קליטה, השפלה ודחייה. טענה נוספת היא שהבעיה נעלמת והולכת, הפערים נסגרים, שיש נישואים בין-עדתיים, שיש מזרחים בפוליטיקה ושמתפתחת תרבות “ישראלית”. כל מי שמעז לטעון אחרת עובר דיסקרטיזציה, מכונה “מקצוען עדתי”, מואשם שהוא מנסה להפוך עלבון להון אישי ושהוא פוגע באחדות העם (אחדות העם וקונצנזוס היו תמיד מיתוס מגייס ומנגנון השתקה של מיעוטים). והמגוחך מכל: בכל פעם שאינטלקטואל מזרחי טוען שקיימת בארץ גזענות, הוא מואשם בגזענות כלפי אשכנזים ומתויג כקיצוני.

          אלא שלכל הטענות יש תשובות משכנעות. ראשית, אין ספק שגם יוצאי ארצות אירופה סבלו קשיי הגירה, וחלקם אף התנשאות של היישוב, אך ההבדלים בין חוויות אלה לבין השפלת המזרחים משמעותיים ומכריעים. לא היה ספק שיוצאי מזרח אירופה ישתלבו יפה מאוד כמעצבי תרבות וכמעמד בינוני מובהק בחברה הישראלית, כפי שלא היה ספק שהעולים החדשים מרוסיה בשנות השבעים יתמקמו במרכז החברה וכך גם עולי רוסיה בשנות התשעים (לעומת זאת, אין ספק שהאתיופים יתמקמו כ”חלשים”, “שכבות מצוקה”, “טעוני טיפוח” וכיוצא באלה). העולים המזרחים תועלו לשולי הכלכלה וקופחו על ידי הממסד הקולט בהקצאת מים, קרקע, דירות ומשרות.

          הטענה, שהפערים נסגרים והולכים, נשמעת עוד משנות החמישים. המציאות הפוכה, הקשר בין מוצא להישגים מתהדק והולך. הפערים אינם רק נחלת דור המדבר. הם שרירים וקיימים בקרב הדור השני ואף מתרחבים. במחקר, שבדק את מצבם של ילידי הארץ בני הורים מזרחים בהשוואה לילידי הארץ בני הורים אשכנזים, נמצא כי ב- 1975 השתכרו גברים מזרחים כ- 79 אחוזים משכר האשכנזים, ב- 1992 היה השיעור כ- 68 אחוזים. החוקרים מיחסים שליש מהפער הזה להפליה. הם התמקדו גם בבני המחזור הצעיר (בני 25-29), אשר שיפר במידת מה את מצבו בין השנים 75 ל- 92. שיעור בעלי תואר ראשון בקרב המזרחים היה 3.3 אחוזים ב- 75, ועלה ל- 7.7 אחוזים ב- 92. בקרב האשכנזים: 23.8 אחוזים בשנת 75, 31.1 אחוזים בשנת 92. כאן המגמה אפוא חיובית, ואם הפער באחוז בעלי התואר הראשון ישתנה באותו קצב, מציינים החוקרים, ינון כהן ויצחק הברפלד, ישתווה הפער בהשכלה בעוד 94 שנים. הדור שישיג זאת עדיין לא נולד.

          אחת התוצאות המרות של הכחשת המזרחיות היא שהדור השני והשלישי של המזרחים מבין את הזהות המזרחית שלו (אם בכלל) כאנטגוניזם לאשכנזיות. הוא מזרחי לא כחיבור תרבותי של ממש אלא כזהות ישראלית מסוימת הכרוכה בכעס ובתסכול. זהו “מזרח” חדש, של מזרחים ישראלים בלבד.

            ואילו השמאל הישראלי החדש לא ראוי להתכנות שמאל. הוא מורכב ברובו מאשכנזים שאין להם כל קשר לסוגיות חברתיות. עסקני שלום עכשיו, פעילים שונים של מרצ ואינטלקטואלים מתנשאים מן הפקולטות למדעי החברה והרוח (“החדשים”), אינם מתעוררים למראה עוולות הדיכוי המכוער של המוני עניים, “אנשי שוליים”, “שכבות חלשות”, “טעוני טיפוח”. רוב רובם של פעילי ה”שמאל” הם בורגנים אמידים, אנשי קהילת העסקים, פרופסורים למינהל עסקים ולכלכלה. כאשר הם מדברים על השלום או על החזרת השטחים הם קושרים זאת בצמיחה כלכלית, במהפכת מיחשוב ובטיפוח מצוינות. כלכלנים המזוהים עם מרצ ושלום עכשיו תומכים, באופן חד משמעי, בהפרטה ובצמיחה כלכלית (“מזרח תיכון חדש”), וממשלות ישראל מגדילות את אי-השוויון למען צמיחה כלכלית כמיטב המסורת של כלכלת צד ההיצע. הן מאפשרות להון לנצל את המדינה לצרכיו.

          השמאל של מרצ הוא שמאל מזויף: שמאל של “חירות” (כלכלית), ולא שמאל של שוויון ושל סולידריות. אפילו משפטני זכויות האזרח של מרצעוסקים הרבה מאוד בזכויות אדם, על פי המסורת הליברלית, אולם אינם עוסקים בזכאויות אחרות של  האזרח מול השלטון, כפי שמחייבת מסורת סוציאל-דמוקרטית. אין הם עוסקים בזכויות חינוך, זכויות דיור או זכויות בפיתוח תרבות אתנית. את התביעה לזכאויות כאלה הם משאירים לש”ס, לחרדים ולשאר קבוצות האינטרסים. בתוך הקשר זה יכול היה שמעון פרס לטעון שהבעיה של העניים היא שהם עניים.

          למען הדיוק ההיסטורי: לא רק השמאל ותנועת העבודה אשמים בהתרחקות המזרחים מהם. חלק מהאשמה יש לתלות בהצלחתו של הימין להשתמש במזרחים ולהלהיבם בסמליו הלאומניים האנטי-ערבים. בשני העשורים האחרונים, אחד האויבים הגדולים של הצדק החברתי בארץ הוא דוד לוי, שתפס את משבצת הקיפוח, והפך אותה לרטוריקה חלולה. יש להאשים בכך גם את הפוליטרוקים המזרחים לדורותיהם, משה שחל, שלמה הלל, שמעון שיטרית, יצחק נבון, שושנה ארבלי-אלמוזלינו, משה קצב, מרדכי בן-פורת, ועוד רבים אחרים – מזרחים מלידה אך לא מזרחים בתודעה, שעשו דה-לגיטימציה למזרחיות כעניין של פוליטיקה.

          בכנסת הנוכחית יש מספר ניכר של פוליטיקאים מזרחים. אין בהם ולו אחד אשר פרש אידיאולוגיה מזרחית חברתית סדורה. כולם משחקים בכלים, במגרש ובשפה של ההגמוניה האשכנזית. אין שמאל אמיתי שיציע מצע חברתי דמוקרטי, שידחה את השיח הליברלי של מרצ ואת השיח הפשיסטי של הימין. אין שמאל שיאפשר גם למזרחים היהודים להיות מפויסים עם מקורותיהם הערבים בלי אפולוגטיקה או הכחשה, ויאפשר לאשכנזים הישראלים להכיר במזרחיות של המזרחים בישראל. אין שמאל שיאפשר כינון זהות מזרחית לא מתוך קונפליקט אלא מתוך חירות תרבותית. את השמאל הזה יוכלו ליזום, כנראה, רק מזרחים.


פרופ’ יהודה שנהב חושב שיש לנו יותר מסכסוך אחד לפתור פה, לפני שיהיה שקט

אנשי השמאל האשכנזים שואפים להיפרד מהשטחים ומהפלסטינים ולהתכנס בגבולות הקו הירוק כדי למנוע את הפיכתה של ישראל לחברה עם רוב מזרחי. פרופ’ יהודה שנהב מנתח את המצב קצת אחרת

18.02.2010 04:11 עודכן ב: 01.09.2011 14:14

יותם פלדמן

רבים מבני משפחתו של פרופ’ יהודה שנהב, מבקר רהוט ועקבי של השלטון הישראלי בשטחים, הרוויחו מהשתלטות ישראל על המרחב שבין הקו הירוק לנהר הירדן. אביו המנוח, אליהו שהרבני, עולה מעיראק שדיבר ערבית, טיפח קריירה משגשגת בקהילת המודיעין ובממשל הצבאי – שנהב זוכר שהתלווה אליו למבצעי החרמת מחברות בגדה המערבית אחרי 67′ והסתיר בילקוטו עפרונות ועטים שנלקחו מפלסטינים. בן דודו שמתגורר במעלה אדומים מתפרנס מעבודות שיפוצים באזור וקרובי משפחה אחרים מתגוררים אף הם מעבר לקו הירוק ונהנים ממה שמכנה שנהב (בעקבות דני גוטווין) “מדינת הרווחה הישראלית שבשטחים”: תעסוקה מלאה, הנחות בארנונה ודיור מוזל.

לעומת זאת, טוען שנהב, רוב רובם של אנשי השמאל הציוני מנוכרים לא רק לדרישות הפוליטיות ולצורכיהם של הפלסטינים, אלא גם למתנחלים שהוא מכנה בספרו החדש “ישראל השלישית”: חרדים, מזרחים תומכי ש”ס ומהגרים מחבר המדינות שמצדדים באביגדור ליברמן. שנהב גורס כי הבדל זה – בין היתר – איפשר לו לכתוב את הספר “במלכודת הקו הירוק” (עם עובד) שיצא לאור החודש. בחיבורו הוא מנסה לזנוח את ההבחנות המקובלות בין שמאל לבין ימין בישראל, וממיר אותן בהבחנה בין המעמידים את יסודות הסכסוך על כיבוש השטחים שממזרח לקו הירוק ב-67′ לבין המעמידים אותם על כיבוש השטחים שממערב לו ב-48′.

המחנה הראשון כולל את מרבית אנשי השמאל הציוני, המרכז הפוליטי ורבים מאנשי השמאל הרדיקלי היהודים. המחנה השני, מציע שנהב, הוא קואליציה שבין פלסטינים שמתגוררים בשטח ישראל, פליטים פלסטינים, אנשי ימין שסבורים כי פשרה על בסיס גבולות הקו הירוק אינה אפשרית, שמאלנים תומכי מדינה דו-לאומית ומתנחלים שרוצים להישאר בבתיהם גם לאחר הסדר עם הפלסטינים.

שנהב, שמייחד את ספרו לביקורת על מרכזיותו של הקו הירוק בדיון הפוליטי בישראל, אינו מתחייב על שיוכו לשמאל. “כיהודי הנהנה מפריבילגיות של יהודי, כמזרחי בעל תודעה מזרחית וכמי שגדל והתחנך מרבית שנותיו בישראל”, הוא כותב בהקדמה לספר, “זה שנים רבות אני חש ניכור כלפי עמדותיו (של השמאל) ביחס לסכסוך וביחס לשאלות מעמדיות, אתניות וזהותיות. בשני העשורים האחרונים מצאתי את עצמי מבקר בחריפות את גוש השמאל לא פחות מאשר את גוש הימין”.

הניתוחים הפוליטיים שעמם הוא מזדהה ביותר הם אלה של אנשי הימין הישראלים: “קראתי לפני חודשיים מאמר של בני בגין בעיתון ‘הארץ'”, הוא אומר, “ואני מסכים עם כל מלה. יכולתי לכתוב את זה בעצמי לגבי העובדה שתהליך השלום כושל, ואין דרך להמשיך אותו. אם תשאל אותי אם אני בעד שהאמריקאים יכפו על הצדדים פתרון מדף של שתי מדינות, אני אגיד – כמו בגין – שלא. הניתוח שלנו הוא אותו ניתוח, גם אם המסקנות הנורמטיביות שלנו יהיו שונות”.

הקו הירוק שנקבע בוועידת רודוס ב-49′ אינו אלא תיחום אדמיניסטרטיבי שרירותי, לפי שנהב. בעיניו, יסודותיו האמיתיים של הסכסוך – מלחמת 48′ וגירוש הפלסטינים שהתגוררו ממערב לקו הירוק – הם גם המוכחשים ביותר. “לאנשים רבים שחיים פה, משכילים ובעלי ידיעות רבות על תרבות מערבית, אין מושג מה קרה פה ב-48′, הם מדברים כמו יצורים שלא חיו פה. זו התוצאה של סגירת המיתוס של 48′ בארון מיד. אנחנו מסרבים להוציא אותו משם”.

למה לקבוע את 1948 כנקודת האפס של הסכסוך? זו קביעה די שרירותית. אפשר לחשוב על צמתים משמעותיים אחרים: הצהרת בלפור ב-1917, או המרד הערבי ב-1936.

“זו שאלה שמציקה לי: למה לא 1917 למשל? דברים מרתקים קורים לא רק בהצהרת בלפור אלא בתהליך הכתיבה שלה. אבל יש בנקודה הזאת משהו אחר: בחרתי בה במכוון כי אני לא חושב שצריך לרסק את מדינת ישראל. בחרתי ב-48′ בדיוק בגלל שאני רוצה שכל ניתוח היסטורי יכלול את ההישגים של מדינת ישראל. אם חוזרים להצהרת בלפור, אז חוזרים למצב קשה מאוד מבחינת היהודים”.

אבל למה בכלל לקבוע נקודת אפס? למה לתלות את כל ההתפתחויות ההיסטוריות באירוע אחד?

“בחרתי בנקודת אפס מתוך עמדה שמכירה באפשרות להציג היסטוריה אלטרנטיבית, גם אם היא מדומיינת – ההיסטוריה שלא קרתה, מה היה קורה אילו היתה מתממשת הסתעפות אחרת מהנקודה שאתה מגדיר כצומת. באותו מקום שבו בחרתי כנקודת אפס אני עוצר את ההסתעפויות ומקבל את מה שקרה עד אז כטבעי. מהבחינה הזאת, המקום שבו תבחר הוא זה שבו אתה מכונן את העמדה הפוליטית שלך. אני מניח את קיומה של ישראל ואת המאפיינים שלה כחלק הכרחי מהניתוח, כי אני לא רוצה להרוס אותה”.

מלחמת 19 השנים

בראיון בדירתו בתל אביב, מציג שנהב תפיסה היסטורית שמתארת את מלחמת 48′ כמאורע המחולל, נקודת האפס, שממנו נבעו באופן ישיר ההתפתחויות ההיסטוריות המאוחרות יותר. כך הוא מציג את פעולות קיביה (53′) וסמוע (66′) כהמשך “הטיהור האתני” של המרחב מפלסטינים שהחל ב-48′; את מלחמת ששת הימים כהרחבה מתוכננת היטב של הישגי 48′ ואת ההתנחלות בשטחים כהמשך ישיר של ההתיישבות היהודית בתוך תחומי הקו הירוק.

הניתוח נראה לעתים חד-ממדי וחלקי, אך בה בעת מציע חלופה מאתגרת למובן מאליו של השמאל והימין ה”מתונים” בישראל. “בוא נחשוב שאנחנו יושבים בעוד 150 שנה”, אומר שנהב, “ואנחנו קוראים ספר היסטוריה. יהיה כתוב שם שהכוחות היהודיים הצליחו לכבוש חלקים מארץ ישראל או מפלסטין המנדטורית, ולעשות טיהור אתני – מושג שמקובל לגבי ישראל בספרות המחקרית הבינלאומית – ושהתהליך נמשך בשני שלבים: ב-48′ וב-67′. כל המנגנונים שבדרך, כמו מלחמות, מעקב דמוגרפי, טרנספר מרצון, דיכוי מאוויים פוליטיים, חינוך, הם תוצאה של אותו תהליך שהיו לו שני חלקים”.

משום כך סולד שנהב מהתיאור ההיסטורי הרווח בשמאל, לפיו ישראל “הושחתה” ב-67′ והכיבוש ממזרח לקו הירוק סיאב את מידותיהם המוסריות של הישראלים. לא רק שהמידה המוסרית אבדה לישראל כבר במעשי הטבח והגירוש של 48′, טוען שנהב, אלא שכיבוש השטחים ויצירתו של מרחב רציף בין הים לירדן היו התפתחות משמחת עבור רבים שסבלו מההפרדה שגזרה עליהם שרירותיותו של הקו הירוק. “מלחמת 67′ העניקה עצמאות, מעמד ואפשרויות קידום לדור שלם של יהודים מארצות ערב שחגגו את פתיחת המרחב”, כותב שנהב. “היא איפשרה הגדרה מחודשת של הזהות המזרחית בישראל לא כאנטיתזה לזהות אשכנזית, אלא כאופציה להשתלבות במרחב, גם אם במקרה זה הנסיבות הן של השתלבות דכאנית”.

שנהב מראה את ההבדלים בהתייחסות ל-67′ דרך ניתוח כתביהם של שלושה סופרים: דויד גרוסמן, האשכנזי, שמעון בלס, המזרחי, וע’סאן כנפאני הפלסטיני: “דויד גרוסמן לא מבין איך זה קרה לנו, איך ביום אחד הפכנו ללאומנים, איך הפכנו לקלגסים של הפלסטינים. ככה הוא כותב ב’זמן הצהוב’ ויוצר תורת מוסר חדשה, שבגבולות 67′ ישראל צודקת, כי רק אז התחלנו להיות צהובים לפלסטינים. באמת רק אז התחיל השלטון על הפלסטינים? עד דצמבר 66′ ישראל הפעילה שלטון צבאי על הפלסטינים בתוך הקו הירוק.

“שמעון בלס כותב חודש אחרי המלחמה שזו ההזדמנות שלנו לצאת מתוך מדינת הגטו, כלומר, מה שגרוסמן מתאר כרגע הנורא – שמעון בלס, כסופר מזרחי, חוגג כרגע פתיחת המרחב. לא רק בגלל החזון האידיאולוגי של קיום משותף, אלא גם בגלל עניינים כלכליים פוליטיים: הוא יכול לפרסם בערבית, יש לו עם מי לדבר בערבית, להתווכח בערבית.

“סופר שלישי זה ע’סאן כנפאני. הוא כותב את ‘שב לחיפה’, שם הוא מתאר את הרגע המרגש שבו הגבול של הקו הירוק קורס והוא יכול לנסוע לראות את הבית שלו ואת הבן שלו שנשאר מאחור. השינוי הזה מוחק את מי שהקו הירוק הוא מדיניות אלימה בעבורו. כלומר, יש שלוש גישות ואנחנו אימצנו את גישת גרוסמן. זו עמדה שמכחישה את העובדה שישראל קיימת ומתקיימת בעולם ערבי”.

ניתוחו של שנהב, לפיו יש מרחב רצוף משני צדי הקו הירוק, מתעלם מההבדל התהומי שבין מעמדם של הפלסטינים תושבי ישראל, לבין תושבי השטחים, הפריבילגיות שמוענקות לראשונים, ואופי השלטון הצבאי שמוטל על האחרונים. לעומת השמאל שמתמקד בביקורת על השלטון הצבאי בשטחים, שנהב מותח קו ישיר בינו לבין המדיניות כלפי הערבים בישראל. לדידו, ההבדל בין היחס לפלסטינים של 67′ ושל 48′ אינו בהכרח משמעותי. “אזרחות לא מבטיחה שוויון ויש אזרחויות חלקיות”, הוא אומר. “כשאתה שולח מורים לבית ספר ערבי ממערב לקו הירוק רק אחרי שהם עברו תחקיר של השב”כ, אתה מייצר מערכת חינוך מעוותת. פלסטינית שאני מכיר קנתה בית עם בן זוגה בכרמיאל והיא ביקשה ממני להיות חתום במקומה או יחד איתה בטאבו. כששאלתי אותה למה, היא אמרה שהיא לא בטוחה שזה יישאר בידיה, שהיא לא יודעת אם יום אחד לא יהיה טרנספר. האיום הזה באלימות הוא חלק בלתי נפרד מתפיסת האזרחות, רוב הפלסטינים בתחומי הקו הירוק מפחדים מאפשרות כזאת. מהבחינה הזאת ליברמן והרעיון של ‘בלי נאמנות אין אזרחות’ הם לא דיסוננס. זה הייצוג האותנטי של רעיון המדינה היהודית והדמוקרטית, של האופן שבו אפשר להגדיר אזרחות באמצעים חדשים”.

היציאה מהארון

שנהב נולד בבאר שבע ב-52′ כיהודה שהרבני, להורים ילידי בגדד. אביו, בן למשפחת סוחרים, נהנה מקריירה משגשגת בקהילת המודיעין הודות לשליטתו בערבית. השכונה שבה גדל היתה מיועדת לאנשי ביטחון והתגוררו בה שתי משפחות של מהגרים מעיראק, ששימשו מורים לערבית. בהמשך עברה משפחתו של שנהב לשכונת נוה משכן, הסמוכה לצהלה, ולפתח תקוה, שם למד בבית הספר עד שהורחק ממנו בכיתה י’, אחרי שהעלה אכסניה באש.

“הייתי די עבריין”, הוא אומר. “אני זוכר שהכנסנו מזרנים לאכסניה ושרפנו אותה”. לאחר מכן, החל לעבוד בבניין, ורק לפני גיוסו השלים את הלימודים. בצבא שירת בחיל המודיעין. בגיל 22 התחתן עם בת למשפחה אשכנזית מבוססת. לפני החתונה, החלה אמה ללחוץ עליו לשנות את שם משפחתו, והוא אף שיכנע את שני הוריו, את אחיו ואת אחותו לעשות זאת.

במשך שנים הכירו רק מעטים את שמו הקודם של שנהב. ב-95′, כשהתראיין לתוכנית הלילה של קובי מידן, הוא נשאל מה היה שם המשפחה הקודם שלו ובלית ברירה השיב. “אתה יודע כמה זה קשה לצאת מהארון”, הוא אומר כיום. “אמרתי לו שהרבני, והתחלתי להזיע כאילו שהייתי צריך להגיד זין וכוס בטלוויזיה. זה ממש כמו יציאה מהארון, זה נתן לי אנרגיות ותחושה של שחרור והקלה. היכולת להפוך את השם ממשהו מצמצם למשהו מרחיב”.

כיום שנהב מתרגם מערבית סיפורים של הסופר הלבנוני מיכאל נועימה וכשהספר ייצא לאור יחתום לראשונה כיהודה שנהב-שהרבני. “כשצילצלתי לאמא שלי, ואמרתי לה שאני רוצה לספר לה משהו שאני חושב שישמח אותה, שאני מחזיר את השם לשהרבני, היא אמרה לי ‘בשביל מה’. אמרתי לה שהשינוי נראה לי טעות והיא ענתה בסמכות ‘שום טעות. לא היית מגיע למעמד בלי זה’ – עם דגש על המלה מעמד”.

אחרי השירות הצבאי למד שנהב לתואר ראשון בסוציולוגיה באוניברסיטת תל אביב ותעשייה וניהול בטכניון, מתוך כוונה לשמש יועץ לניהול. הוא המשיך ללימודי תואר שני ואת הדוקטורט, שהיה קריאה ביקורתית של תורות ניהול ויעילות, עשה באוניברסיטת סטנפורד בארצות הברית. כששב לישראל, החל ללמד בחוג לסוציולוגיה באוניברסיטת תל אביב ובשנים 95′-98′ אף עמד בראשו. בשנות ה-90 השתתף בקבוצה שהקימה את כתב העת “תיאוריה וביקורת”, שהוא עורכו כיום (הגיליון הבא יהיה האחרון שבעריכת שנהב).

ב-96′ פירסם שנהב במוסף זה את המאמר “קשר השתיקה”, שבו האשים את “ההיסטוריונים החדשים” בהתעלמות מהקיפוח של היהודים המזרחים. המאמר עורר סערה ממושכת ויותר מעשרים מאמרי תגובה עליו הופיעו אז ב”הארץ”. הבעיה שניסה שנהב להגדיר היא “נתק בין שתי זירות שונות: ההיסטוריונים החדשים של 48′ וההיסטוריונים החדשים של המזרחים. מי שעוסק בסכסוך לא עוסק במזרחים ולהפך, אין חיבור רעיוני בין השניים”.

למה שיהיה?

“אי אפשר להבין את הסכסוך בלי לדבר על החיבור הזה בין שני סוגים של פליטים ערבים – פלסטינים ויהודים. איך אפשר לדבר על שאלות של פליטות בלי לדבר על הפליטים היהודים הערבים? העובדה שבני מוריס מדבר על פליטים בלי לדבר על פליטים מזרחים היא ביטוי לאשכנזיות שלו, למבנה השיח הטהור של הסכסוך. באופן דומה, האנתרופולוגים והסוציולוגים שחוקרים את המזרחים כבר שישים שנה, שמדברים על מושבי עולים ועל תרבות מזרחית, מנתקים את שאלת הפלסטינים מהניתוח שלהם”.

בני מוריס טוען בתגובה שעניין הפליטים היהודים פשוט לא היה חלק ממחקרו. “כתבתי ספר על בעיית הפליטים הפלסטינים וזה היה הנושא”, הוא אומר. “בספר האחרון שלי, שייקרא בעברית ‘תש”ח’, הקדשתי כמה עמודים בדברי הסיכום לפליטי ארצות ערב מאז 48′ וקישרתי בין שני מקרי הפליטות. 48′ גרמה להתהוות בעיית פליטים פלסטינים, אבל גם לבעיית פליטים יהודים מארצות ערב. זו בעיה שהפסיקה להתקיים משום שהפליטים היהודים מארצות ערב נקלטו והפליטות שלהם נגמרה, בעוד שבעיית הפליטים הפלסטינים נותרה בעינה”.

שנהב טוען שבעיית הפליטים היהודים מארצות ערב לא נפתרה.

“זו בעיה שלו, יותר משזאת בעיה אמיתית. אני חושב שהם נקלטו בצרפת ובאנגליה וגם איכשהו בישראל. זה לקח זמן, זה היה תהליך כואב, אבל בסך הכל הם נקלטו”.

הנוסטלגיה החדשה

העמדה ששנהב מבקר, זו שמאפיינת את גרוסמן ואנשי שמאל רבים אחרים, רובם אשכנזים, מתאפיינת בערגה למדינת ישראל כפי שהיתה לפני כיבוש השטחים ב-67′. געגועים אלה, “הנוסטלגיה החדשה” בלשון שנהב, הם “מצב תרבותי של אליטות יהודיות ממעמד הביניים הליברלי ורוב אינדיבידואלי דומם של פרופסיונלים”, הוא כותב בספרו: “טכנוקרטים, עובדים של השירות הציבורי, פרקליטות המדינה, אנשי אקדמיה במדעי החברה והרוח, אנשי משרד החוץ, גנרלים בדימוס ועיתונאים – רוב מצביעי קדימה, העבודה ומרצ”.

שנהב מונה נציגים רבים לנוסטלגיה החדשה, בהם יוסי ביילין, דן מרידור, חיים רמון, ציפי לבני, טליה ששון, אהרן ברק, רות גביזון, עמוס אילון, ארי שביט, עמוס שוקן, דן מרגלית, אמנון דנקנר ורבים נוספים. שנהב כותב כי געגועיהם של האוחזים ב”נוסטלגיה החדשה” אינם רק לישראל נטולת הגדה המערבית, אלא גם לישראל אשכנזית יותר ודתית פחות. הוא מביא שורה של ציטוטים שבהם המתגעגעים לתקופת שקדמה ל-67′ מביעים את סלידתם מצורות התנהגות בלתי-רציונליות של המתנחלים, שמנוגדות לערכיהם של מייסדי המדינה האשכנזים. בחלק ניכר מהביקורת שלהם על ההתנחלויות הם מתייחסים אל המתנחלים כאל מקשה אחת.

“פרדיגמת 67′ של השמאל הליברלי אינה נובעת אפוא רק מתוך פחד מפני הריבוי הדמוגרפי הפלסטיני”, מסיק שנהב, “אלא גם מתוך חרדה מפני הפיכתה של ישראל לחברה עם רוב מזרחי… זוהי שפתו של מי שבא למזרח התיכון לזמן קצר, שלא על מנת להתערות בו, אלא להתקיים בו כאורח. עמדה זו אינה רק בלתי מוסרית כלפי הפלסטינים, היא גם הרת אסון ליהודים עצמם. היא כופה עליהם חיים בתוך גטו עם תפיסת דמוקרטיה המבוססת על חוקי גזע ומצב חירום מתמיד”.

לכן חש שנהב מנוכר מהקבוצה הבולטת ביותר באקדמיה הישראלית ובחיי הרוח של תל אביב ורחוק מהם עוד יותר משהוא רחוק מאנשי הימין הקיצוני וממתנחלי הגדה המערבית. הוא החל לעמוד על כך בשנות פעילותו ב”קשת הדמוקרטית המזרחית”, שהוא היה ממקימיה ב-96′. אנשי הקשת לחמו נגד חוסר השוויון שממנו סובלים המזרחים בכלכלה הישראלית ובחלוקת נכסי המדינה, ובעיקר בקרקעות.

הקמת הקשת המזרחית, מספר שנהב כיום, התאפשרה הודות להסכמי אוסלו שיצרו את התחושה כי אפשר לעסוק במאבקים פוליטיים שאינם נוגעים לפלסטינים. השותפים לתנועה היו בחלקם אנשי ימין שהשקפותיהם ביחס לסכסוך עם הפלסטינים היו רחוקות מאלה של שנהב. “אני זוכר את עצמי בעבר כשמאל בנאלי”, מספר שנהב. “היתה לי תפיסה של שמאל אשכנזי רגיל, וההתנסות שלי בקשת הדמוקרטית המזרחית לאט לאט לימדה אותי איפה המכשלות במיקום של השמאל האשכנזי. אני זוכר שדיברתי באירוע פוליטי באוקטובר 2000 שהשתתפו בו שולמית אלוני ואורי אבנרי ואחרים, ואף אחד מהחברים שלי בקשת לא היה שם. חזרתי הביתה ולא ישנתי כל הלילה. אני זוכר את הבוקר שבו התעוררתי ואמרתי ‘מה אני עושה, איך יכולה להיות התהום הזאת?’ כשהזמינו אותי ב-2004 לדבר בכנס של ‘יש גבול’, מתוך 500 סרבנים היו ארבעה מזרחים. זו תופעה שאי-אפשר להתעלם ממנה. למי יש פריבילגיה להיות סרבן?”

המתנחלים הדפוקים

שנהב מתבסס בדבריו על ביקורתם של אנשי הקשת המזרחית את מפלגות השמאל, שבפועל ייצגו את בעלי ההון: “העמדה הסוציאל-דמוקרטית האשכנזית לא יכולה להכיל צדק הקצאתי אמיתי. מרצ, שמציגה את עצמה כמפלגת שמאל, נתמכת על ידי אלקטורט של בעלי אדמות. לפני הבחירות ניסו להקים שמאל חדש. אתה מסתכל על הגלריה הגברית, האשכנזית והמנותקת מהבנה אתנית וגזעית ושואל את עצמך איך נולד הדבר המוזר הזה. איך בעלי קרקעות ובעלי תאגידים יכולים להוות שמאל מעמדי, והם מכריזים על עצמם ככאלה. גם עמדתה של הקבוצה הזאת ביחס לפלסטינים קונסרבטיבית. מי בלע לקרבו את האדמות של הפלסטינים לאחר 48′ אם לא אנשי תנועת העבודה ומפ”ם בתוכם?

“כשהלכנו אל אופיר פינס, שהיה שר הפנים, לדבר איתו על גבולות בין יישובים – אמרנו לו שמתוקף תקנה הוא יכול להביא לצדק, אם יתן לכפר קרע את תחנת הדלק שלו – הוא אמר ‘אני לא יכול לבגוד באלקטורט שלי'”. משתתף נוסף בפגישה מאשר את דברי שנהב. פינס בתגובה: “על פניו, ההתבטאות של שנהב מופרכת ואין לה בסיס במציאות. הייתי בקשר לא מקרי ולא חד-פעמי עם הקשת המזרחית, היו דברים שהסכמתי איתם והיו דברים שלא. יש אכן מחלוקת נוקבת בין הקשת המזרחית לבין התנועה הקיבוצית בשאלת הקרקעות, אבל אני לא קיבוצניק”.

שנהב: “התובנה שאני מבקש להדגיש ולהוסיף היא שהשמאל החברתי הוא גם ימין מדיני. כששמואל הספרי אומר לארי שביט ‘אנחנו לאומנים של הקו הירוק, אנחנו בעד שתי מדינות לשני עמים אבל בתוך זה אנחנו לאומנים’ – האמירה הזאת משקפת את האופן שבו השמאל הציוני הוא במובנים רבים הרבה יותר לאומני מחלקים אחרים בציבור, והלאומנות הזאת בולטת במיוחד בשלד שהיא מחזיקה בארון, שאלת 48′”.

והימין לא לאומני? אנשי ימין לא רוצים מדינה יהודית חזקה?

“לא בהכרח כמו השמאל. אליעז כהן מכפר עציון אומר שאם לא נשרטט את הגבול על הקו הירוק, אז זכות השיבה של הפלסטינים ושל היהודים תהיה הדדית, ‘כמו שלי יש זכות שיבה לכפר עציון’, הוא אומר, ‘אין שום סיבה שלפלסטינים משכם לא תהיה זכות שיבה ליפו’. זו אוטופיה, אבל זו קבוצה שהיא הרבה יותר שמאלנית מאמנון רובינשטיין וארי שביט ויוסי ביילין ודויד גרוסמן, זה המקום שבו צריך להפוך את הקטגוריות ולייצר אותן בצורה אחרת.

“בשביל השמאל הציוני כל המתנחלים נראים אותו דבר וחושבים אותו דבר, כולם מלוכסני עיניים. אבל יש לפחות 250 אלף איש בהתנחלויות שהם המעמדות הנמוכים שהיו צריכים ויכולים להיות חלק מרכזי מהשמאל הישראלי. האנשים האלה גרים בשטחים, הם הנדפקים העיקריים של משטר מפא”י ושל הכלכלה הניאו ליברלית, שנדחפו לשם כתוצאה ישירה מהמבנה של אי השוויון בתוך ישראל. שרטוט הקו הירוק וגיבוש פתרון בהתאם לו הוא איום עליהם, איום שפינוי ימנע מהם את מדינת הרווחה שקיבלו”.

לפיכך, הסדר עתידי לא חייב להיות כרוך, לדעת שנהב, בפינוי כל ההתנחלויות, אפשרות שהוא מגדיר בספר “פנטזיה של השמאל שמכחיש את המציאות הפוליטית”. קשה לראות כיום מי יהיו השותפים הפלסטינים לפתרון שאינו כולל פינוי של ההתנחלויות, בשעה שהמאבק נגדן מהווה חלק מכריע בהתנגדות הפלסטינית, אך שנהב אופטימי גם בעניין זה. מבחינה היסטורית, הוא אינו רואה הבדל בין התיישבות משני עברי הקו הירוק, ההבדל נעוץ רק בכך שהפלסטינים הכירו בהתיישבות שממערב לו. “השמאל לא יכול לראות את העוול שנגרם למתנחלים”, הוא אומר. “אני לא בטוח שזה מוסרי לפנות דורות של אנשים שחיים שם. אני לא חושב שצריך לתקן עוול מוסרי אחד בעוול אחר”.

אתה חושב שיש שותפים פלסטינים לדרישה הזאת? איזה פלסטיני יסכים להסדר שלא כולל פינוי של ההתנחלויות? חלק משמעותי מההתנגדות הפלסטינית עוסק בקרקעות שההתנחלויות גוזלות.

“אם תהיה תביעה הדדית שתאפשר סוג של חילופי של שטחים ואדמות, אני לא רואה סיבה מיוחדת שלא להשאיר את ההתנחלויות שם. הדיונים האלה קיימים אצל מתנחלים כל הזמן, אני קורא ב’נקודה’ וב’מקור ראשון’ את השאלות על הנוכחות שלהם שם, אם היא מוסרית ומה העתיד שלה, רק שזה לא חשוף לציבור”.

בסוף הספר מציע שנהב שלושה פתרונות אפשריים לסכסוך, שמתבססים על ההנחה כי מקורו הוא במלחמת 48′ ולא ב-67′. שנהב מציג את המודל של “מדינת כל אזרחיה” על כל השטח, בניהול משותף של יהודים וערבים. באותה נשימה הוא גורס כי זה המודל המועדף פחות, שכן הוא אינו מתחשב בהבדלים שבין האינטרסים של הצדדים וייצור ביניהם מירוץ דמוגרפי להשגת רוב.

המודל המועדף על שנהב הוא “דמוקרטיה הסדרית”: חלוקה של האזור לשטחים קטנים שבהם יתגוררו קהילות דתיות ואזרחיות שונות, במבנה של קנטונים, שישמרו על עצמאות ויאוגדו במבנה רופף. גם אם פתרונות אלה נראים דמיוניים כיום, שנהב סבור ששינויי השנים האחרונות הפכו את פתרון שתי המדינות דמיוני עוד יותר. למעשה, הוא טוען, הפתרונות העתידיים מתעצבים כל העת. “זה לא שהכל מחכים שבן עמי יחזור מקמפ דיוויד עם הסכם. בינתיים יש העמקה של הכיבוש והשליטה על השטחים, השליטה בעזה מבחוץ ודרך ארגונים הומניטריים, היא השליטה הכי טובה שיכולה להיות. השינויים האלה מעבים את המרחב האחד. אנחנו לא חיים במדינה יהודית ודמוקרטית, אנחנו חיים במרחב אחד, שבו ישראל מפעילה ריבונות דה-פקטו מהים ועד הירדן, כולל שטחי סי ובי ואיי, בעזה וברמאללה. נוצרת מציאות שאי אפשר לנתק בינה לבין פתרונות”.

ואולי לא תהיה הכרעה? למה שהמצב הנוכחי לא יימשך?

“אנשים אולי ימשיכו לחיות כמה שנים ב’לסה פאסה’ מהים ועד הירדן, אולי אפילו עוד חמישים שנה. אבל בסוף תבוא המהפכה. אין לי ספק שהתהליך שקורה היום ילך ויתעבה ולא יאפשר חזרה לשתי מדינות”.*

פרופ’ יהודה שנהב טוען שאשכנזים הם שמקדמים במידה לא מבוטלת את רעיון ההפרדה מהפלסטינים. לדידו, ייתכן שלמזרחים יהיה קל יותר לחיות לצד פלסטינים במרחב דו-לאומי אחד: “זו עמדה שמזרחים יכולים לאמץ. אבא שלי וכל מי שהיה סביבו, כולם אנשי מערכת הביטחון, תוך שנייה אתה יכול לראות בהם ערבים”.

זה רלוונטי לדור צעיר יותר? הרי אין כמעט צעירים ממך שדוברים ערבית או קשורים לתרבות הזאת.

“יכול להיות שיש פה עניין דורי שאני קצת שבוי בו. אבל ההורים שלנו פתחו אופציה שאפשר לשחזר אותה, שיכולה להפוך לעמדה פוליטית. ולהפך: זה כמעט בנאלי, אבל נכון, שהאשכנזים הם אלה שהובילו את הרעיון שישראל היא סניף של אירופה. נראה מה הם יגידו כשהאיסלאם יהפוך לגורם מרכזי באירופה”.

The Main Reason for Israel’s Humanities Failure


Editorial note

The previous IAM post has dealt with the elements that contribute to the decline of the Humanities in higher learning institutions, such as political activism disguised as academics.

One of the main facilitators of political activism dressed in academic garb is the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.

Van Leer often hosts discussions for “leftists,” who follow neo-Marxist, critical scholarship. For example, recently, Van Leer has held an event in memory of David Graeber, who was “one of the most fascinating and pioneering intellectuals on the renewed left [emphasis added] in the last decade.” Graeber, an “anthropologist and activist,” was the author of “groundbreaking books” such as Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, as well as Debt: The First 5,000 Years. The Van Leer discussion has dealt with his life and work. “His activism in the United States and the Middle East; His harsh critique of capitalism and his identification as an anarchist; His revolutionary view of money and value;” among others. Worth noting that Graeber was one of the founders of Occupy Wall Street. Clearly, there is not much academic work here but rather polemics. For the discussion, the organizers also invited Dr. Yaara Benger Alaluf from Academia for Equality, who specializes in “Exploring the production of relaxation in Club Med seaside resorts.” 

Also recently, Van Leer has held an event, “Philosophy at the end of the world – Hegel, Agamben and the day after.” According to the invitation, it is the second meeting to honor the publication of issue 53 of Theory and Criticism. The event questioned “Agamben and Hegel: Why should we read them, especially today? What in their total and all-encompassing philosophy can describe or interpret the current political moment—a moment of dismantling and lack of a way out, of confusion and error? What is the end of history that each of them predicted and how is it related to the end of a particular world order—and with it, also, the order of culture and meaning—that we are witnessing now? And what can come after it?” Not surprisingly, the end of the world order is referring to the former US President Donald Trump. Participants: Dr. Gal Katz, Columbia University, who already gave a talk at Van Leer in June 2019, titled “The Philosopher and the Political Sphere;” Shir Hacham, an independent researcher, a former Haaretz and Time Out contributor in arts and dance; Dr. Yoav Ronel, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, who teaches “representations of desire in western culture, through 20th century critical theory.” The host is Dr. Shaul Setter, the editor of Theory and Criticism

The previous edition of Theory and Criticism, number 52, titled “Critical Theory in the Era of the New Radical Right,” was also edited by Setter.  He wrote in the preface that critical theory is a “philosophical endeavor with noise at its heart. It is a noise generating enterprise—that is, intellectual activity that is not hemmed in by the boundaries of thought, of the kingdom of reason and imagination or of the ivory tower of institutional research and academic freedom.” Instead, he argues, “it is an endeavor whose movement echoes throughout the polis, takes place in the public sphere and is heard throughout the social sphere, raising its voice and seeking to transmit and disseminate it. Its center is the din of philosophy that is created by connecting thought to action, that is, to practice. It has been this way not only from the moment of its founding or its naming, but rather since 1845, the year in which a young intellectual who was exiled from his homeland jotted down some thoughts after reading a book; that is, since Marx’s theses on Feuerbach.”

By its own admission, Van Leer’s Theory and Criticism is a “journal for theoretical thought and critical study” founded in the early 1990s. It has dealt with “critical theory in local contexts.” Articles of “theoretical discussions and new forms of critique, and portray their demands from both scholarship and social praxis. They consider the fundamental questions of theory and criticism in light of the concrete changes in society—in Israel, with all its political and cultural issues, and elsewhere, from a comparative perspective and in a global context.” In effect, the journal has been a platform for the radical left, producing mountains of undetected polemical verbiage.

IAM reported about Van Leer before. Two years ago, IAM reported that Van Leer has been facilitating Holocaust inversion practiced for over a decade by a number of scholars whose aim is to minimize the scale of the catastrophe befallen on the Jews in WWII, by comparing the Holocaust to the Palestinian Nakba. This Holocaust equivalence serves two goals: It absolves the Palestinians and their Arab allies from any blame for starting a war that intended to destroy the nascent State of Israel, and it presents the former Jewish Holocaust victims as the “new” Nazi perpetrators. In Holocaust inversion, the Palestinians have become the “new Jews.”

Between 2017 and 2019, Van Leer facilitated another project, “Settler Colonialism and Resistance,” by a group of radical activists who discussed “a new understanding of the relations between the Zionist settlers and the local Arab-Palestinian population.” Among the participants were Lev Grinberg, Daniel DeMalach; Gadi Algazi; Khaled Anabtawi; Avishai Ehrlich; Hanna Herzog; Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar; Jacob (Kobi) Metzer; Mansour Nasasra; Tom Pessah; Areej Sabbagh-Khoury; Oren Shlomo; Na’aman Tal; Erez Tzfadia; Himmat Zu’bi’. Some of the participants are BDS supporters, and others are just anti-Israel activists.

It is easy to see that, in essence, many of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute’s projects espouse the negation of the right of Jews to a Jewish state by describing it as a settler-colonial entity.   There are no academics on the various panels who can provide a rebuttal to the settler-colonial theory which has become dominant in universities in the West. 

But the ‘cherry on the icing’ is that the Council for Higher Education is housed on Van Leer Institute’s premises. There cannot be a more significant conflict of interests than this.

Philosophy at the End of the World – Hegel, Agamben, and the Day After

Tuesday | 01/26/21 | 08:30 pm

Second meeting in honor of the publication of Issue 53 of Theory and

Dr. Gal Katz, Shir Hacham, Dr. Yoav Ronel, Dr. Shaul Setter | 

Agamben and Hegel: Why should we read them, especially today?
What in their total and all-encompassing philosophy can describe or
interpret the current political moment—a moment of dismantling and
lack of a way out, of confusion and error? What is the end of history
that each of them predicted and how is it related to the end of a
particular world order—and with it, also, the order of culture and
meaning—that we are witnessing now? And what can come after it?


Dr. Gal Katz, Columbia University
Shir Hacham, independent scholar
Dr. Yoav Ronel, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem
Editor-in-chief of Theory and Criticism, Dr. Shaul Setter, moderator.

26 JANUARY AT 20:27פילוסופיה בסוף העולם – הגל, אגמבן והיום שאחרי // שידור חיThis video is now available to watchWatch Now


אירוע // שיחה: לראות מעבר ל”בולשיט” ערב לכבודו של האנתרופולוג והאנרכיסט דייוויד גרייבר [ון ליר, מקוון] 9.11.20

פרטים כלליים

סוג הודעה: אירועים

תאריך פרסום: 02-11-2020

מקוון / לא מקוון:

מיקום: מכון ון ליר ירושליםמקווןישראל

מועד: 09-11-2020 – 09-11-2020

מעניק מלגה/שכר: לא

כרוך בעלות: לא

אקדמיה/קהילה: אקדמיהקהילה

קהל יעד: חוקרים/ותסטודנטים/ותהקהל הרחב

שפות: עברית

פקולטות: מדעי הרוחמדעי החברה

דיסציפלינות: כלכלהסוציולוגיהאנתרופולוגיה

מחקר אינטרדיסציפלינרי: קפיטליזם / ליברליזם / סוציאליזםשוק, צרכנות

פרטי קשר

איל עפרון | מתאם פעילות לציבור, שיווק וקשרי חוץ | | 02-5605282

כתובת ההודעה:

לראות מעבר ל”בולשיט”

ערב לכבודו של האנתרופולוג והאנרכיסט דייוויד גרייבר (2020-1961)

דייוויד גרייבּר שמת בפתאומיות בתחילת ספטמבר נמנה עם האינטלקטואלים החלוצים המרתקים ביותר בשמאל המתחדש בעשור האחרון. הוא היה אנתרופולוג ואקטיביסט, מחברם של ספרים מחוללי שינוי ובהםBullshit Jobs: A Theory ו-Debt: The First 5,000 Years. בערב הדיון נעסוק בשלל היבטים של חייו ועבודתו: האקטיביזם שלו בארצות הברית ובמזרח התיכון; עבודתו האנתרופולוגית רחבת ההיקף; ביקורתו החריפה על הקפיטליזם והזדהותו כאנרכיסט; השקפתו המהפכנית על כסף ועל ערך; ניסיונו להציע תפיסה מוסרית שונה של חוב ושל עבודה, וגישתו הייחודית ומעוררת התקווה ביחס להיסטוריה האנושית. 

שיחה עם:

ד”ר יערה בנגר אללוף, ארגון אקדמיה לשוויון

ד”ר ראמז עיד, האוניברסיטה הפתוחה

בהנחיית ד”ר אלי קוק, אוניברסיטת חיפה

9.11.20, 20:00-18:00

לראות מעבר ל”בולשיט”

ערב לכבודו של האנתרופולוג והאנרכיסט דייוויד גרייבר (2020-1961)

יום שני | 09/11/20 | בשעה 18:00

לראות מעבר ל

שיחה בשידור חי | 

דייוויד גרייבּר שמת בפתאומיות בתחילת ספטמבר נמנה עם האינטלקטואלים החלוצים המרתקים ביותר בשמאל המתחדש בעשור האחרון. הוא היה אנתרופולוג ואקטיביסט, מחברם של ספרים מחוללי שינוי ובהם Bullshit Jobs: A Theory ו-Debt: The First 5,000 Years. בערב הדיון נעסוק בשלל היבטים של חייו ועבודתו: האקטיביזם שלו בארצות הברית ובמזרח התיכון; עבודתו האנתרופולוגית רחבת ההיקף; ביקורתו החריפה על הקפיטליזם והזדהותו כאנרכיסט; השקפתו המהפכנית על כסף ועל ערך; ניסיונו להציע תפיסה מוסרית שונה של חוב ושל עבודה, וגישתו הייחודית ומעוררת התקווה ביחס להיסטוריה האנושית.


ד”ר יערה בנגר אללוף, ארגון אקדמיה לשוויון

ד”ר ראמז עיד, האוניברסיטה הפתוחה

בהנחיית ד”ר אלי קוק, אוניברסיטת חיפה



Settler Colonialism and Resistance

The Settler Colonialism and Resistance Group met throughout 2017-2019to discuss a new understanding of the relations between the Zionist settlers and the local Arab-Palestinian population. In the first year the group discussed theoretical texts and the early work of its participants. In the second year the group focused on presentations of original research with the aim of publishing a collection of articles.

Led By

Lev Grinberg, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Daniel DeMalach, Sapir Academic College


Gadi Algazi
Khaled Anabtawi
Avishai Ehrlich
Hanna Herzog
Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar
Jacob (Kobi) Metzer
Mansour Nasasra
Tom Pessah
Areej Sabbagh-Khoury
Oren Shlomo
Na’aman Tal
Erez Tzfadia
Himmat Zu’bi


Tom Mehager

Humanities in Decline


Editorial Note

In December 2020, the Israeli Council for Higher Education (CHE) asked the public to send suggestions for advancing the Humanities in higher education institutions. The CHE appointed a committee headed by a CHE member, Prof. Haviva Padia of the Department of Jewish History, Ben Gurion University.  The committee invites the public to write his/her position or proposal regarding ways to promote the Humanities in academia and the public in Israel. The proposals must be sent by email, no later than January 31, 2021, to

The CHE public announcement has sparked a debate among members of the academic network Academia-IL. No one doubts the necessity of the Humanities, rather, the debate was more concerned with who decides what is considered important research that deserves public funding.

There is no doubt that the Humanities are essential, as students should be able to critically examine written texts. However, what has gone wrong with the Humanities is that political activists have seized the Humanities to advance their political agenda through the neo-Marxist, critical studies paradigm. Dozens of political activists masquerading as academics were recruited by their like-minded political activist peers to proliferate a particular political agenda as pioneered by Edward Said.

For example, the Walter-Lebach Institute for Jewish-Arab Coexistence, established in 2002 at the School of Humanities at TAU, aims to create and promote a “critical discussion of issues related to the Jewish-Palestinian conflict and to coexistence in Israel.”  The Institution is involved in academic courses related to the impact on the peace process, land policies in the Negev desert, legal issues, among others, and “the occupation and its implication on Israeli society.” The Institution grants annual scholarships.   

Of late, the Walter-Lebach Institute has published “A call for applications for a grant to candidates on doctoral dissertation or thesis.” Shortly after, the Institute announced the publication of an article, “Half-Statelessness and Hannah Arendt’s Citizenship Model: The Case of Palestinian Citizens of Israel,” co-authored by Noa Gani, a Ph.D. student at the Hebrew University and Prof. Amal Jamal, the head of the Walter-Lebach Institute. The article explores Hannah Arendt’s “conceptualization of half-statelessness,” which, according to the authors, theorizes “the partial invasion of citizenship by characteristics of statelessness. It is a process of dehumanization.” The article uses Arendt’s conceptualization to “demonstrate the meaning of dehumanization by examining the reaction of Palestinian citizens of Israel to recent radicalization of state policies towards them.” The article also refers “to the anti-liberal legislation and the radicalization of political discourse in Israel during the last decade, leading to further deterioration in the civil status of Palestinian citizens.”  The co-authors describe how “Palestinian citizens of Israel have never been recognized as an indigenous national group. This misrecognition is most intensely manifested in the denial of having equal right to the land (Jamal, 2007). This denial is translated into the realization of the Zionist vision of creating exclusive Jewish sovereignty at the expense of negation and repression of Palestinian nationalism” The article’s proof is a citation of Knesset member Ayman Odeh.

Evidently, the article is a political exercise dressed up in academic garb. 

The Institution also held an event, “2019 Elections: New Hegemony or Adequate Representation of public positions?” in May 2019, inviting, again, Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Hadash party and Joint List alliance, and Michal Biran, member of the Labor Party, to speak, moderated by Prof. Amal Jamal. Hardly an academic or balanced debate. It is not surprising that the books the Institution publishes are: The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion in Israeli-Palestinian Relations (2020) Control and Thorn in It (2020) The Media Activities of National Minorities in the Algorithmic Age (2020) Palestinian Arab Organizations in Israeli Civil Society (2019) The Conflict – Sociological, Historical and Geopolitical Aspects (2019) Arab Civil Society In Israel (2017) The Nakba in the National Memory of Israel (2015) The Impact of the Occupation on Israeli Society (2013) Land, Democracy and Multi-Minority Relations (2013) Dialectic of Memory and Oblivion in Israeli Independence and the Palestinian Nakba (2010).

As can be seen, the Institution provides a one-sided political perspective that does not allow alternative voices.

The Institution also provides a link to another one-sided political event. In 2019 the Minerva Humanities Center at TAU had held a book launch for Idith Zertal’s “Refusal: The Duty of Obedience and the Right to Conscience,” published the year before. Speaking at the event were Adi Ophir, Gadi Algazi, Hagit Gur Ziv, Zehava Galon, Amal Jamal, Michael Sfard, Yishai Rosen-Zvi, and Yonatan Shapira. The event was filmed and uploaded to the TAU website.  Zertal, a highly controversial historian, has been accused of misrepresenting events surrounding the decision of Holocaust survivors to come to Israel. The speakers’ roster at this event is telling as well, many like Ophir and Algazi are leaders of the neo-Marxist, critical school, and some are from the Meretz Party.   

As for Zertal’s book on “Conscientious objection” and “Obedience and refusal,” she discusses the “thought of the refusal and right – and duty – of citizens to say ‘no’ to the government and the law; The intellectual, political, and cultural background of conscientious objectors; The concrete motives, anchored in time and place, of the refusal of conscience and its modes of action, its purposes, and its clashes with the institutions of the state and with its basic myths; And the ongoing controversy surrounding refusal in the public sphere – in the military, in the courts, in the media and academia.”   The book questions, “How does a person become a refuser? What are the individual, social and political conditions in which such an event matures and takes place? How does the refusal resonate in the public sphere and what does it attest to?” And argues that the “connection of conscientious objection to a democratic state is clear and can serve as a standard for the very democratic essence of a state. But the Israeli democracy haunts its conscientious objectors, especially since the occupation and its wars were their main motives. While the state of occupation is denied or considered the norms of the military, backed by the political and legal systems, defines conscientious objectors as an existential security threat, danger to democracy and the rule of law, and punishes accordingly: young Israelis, reservists or conscientious objectors before enlisting, are sent, since half a century for extended periods of time in the military prison.”   Zertal’s reading of the topic is biased and misguided, not to mention the lack of contextual understanding of the phenomenon. 

Unfortunately, the market for one-sided, Israel-bashing academic work is flourishing as many publishers compete with each other to publish books that reflect badly on Israel.   It is hardly a secret that since the publication of Said’s books, many in the Israeli and Western academy have devoted themselves to undermining the image of Israel while neglecting or soft-pedaling human rights abuses in the dictatorships of the Middle East. 

The CHE committee should fight the distortion of the political activists disguised as academics. IAM has been researching the phenomenon since 2004 and has collected numerous instances of such politicization.  IAM will provide more examples in the next several posts.

פנייה לציבור – קבלת הצעות לקידום מדעי הרוח באקדמיה

המועצה להשכלה גבוהה (מל”ג) והוועדה לתכנון ולתקצוב (ות”ת)מייחסות חשיבות רבה ביותר לקידומם של מדעי הרוח במוסדות להשכלה גבוהה באופן מערכתי. בשנים החולפות יזמו ות”ת ומל”ג מספר מהלכים במטרה לקדם את מדעי הרוח בראייה מערכתית ארוכת טווח וכללו את הנושא במסגרת התכנית הרב שנתית הנוכחית (תשע”ז- תשפ”א).בנובמבר 2020 הוקמה ועדת היגוי לקידום מדעי הרוח מקרב חברי מל”ג וות”ת בראשותה של חברת המל”ג, פרופ’ חביבה פדיה – המחלקה להיסטוריה של עם ישראל, אוניברסיטת בן גוריון בנגב.הוועדה התבקשה לגבש הצעה לתכנית עבודה מסודרת ואחודה, ובה המלצות קונקרטיות, תיעדוף, לוח זמנים ואופני יישום, לקידום תחום מדעי הרוח בהשכלה הגבוהה.הוועדה פונה לציבור ומזמינה את כל המעוניין להציג בכתב לוועדה את עמדתו או הצעתו בנוגע לדרכים לקידומם של מדעי הרוח באקדמיה ובציבור בישראל.את ההצעה יש להעביר בדואר אלקטרוני לכתובתלא יאוחר מיום 31 ינואר 2021

The Walter-Lebach Institute for Jewish-Arab Coexistence was established in 2002 as part of the Social Science School, the School of Humanities, and the School of Education at Tel-Aviv University.  The Institution’s goal is to create and promote critical discussion of issues related to the Jewish-Palestinian conflict and to coexistence in Israel.  The Institution is involved in conventions, publications, and academic courses related to its core interests, including psychological factors and their impact on the peace process, third section activity in Israel, land policies in the Negev desert, legal issues, the occupation and its implication on Israeli society, and dilemmas of recognition in conflicts.  The Institution grants annual scholarships for outstanding students and researchers who focus on relevant issues, in addition to collaborations with other institutions and research centers.

קול קורא להגשת מועמדות לקבלת

מענק על עבודות דוקטורט או תזה

  • נושאי העבודות:
  1.  התפתחויות במערכת היחסים בין המדינה למיעוט הערבי בישראל בעשרים האחרונים.
  2. השלכות והשפעות הקורונה על החברה בישראל ובמיוחד בממשק בין החברה היהודית לערבית.
  3. המערכת הפוליטית הישראלית ומיקומם של האזרחים הערבים.
  4. מערכת המשפט וזכויות האזרחים הערבים.
  5.  האלימות בחברה הערבית ותפקידה של משטרת ישראל במניעתה. 
  6. השתלבותם של האזרחים הערבים במשק והכלכלה בישראל.
  • קריטריונים להגשת מועמדות:
    תלמידי/ות התואר השלישי והתואר השני, אשר מצויים/ות במהלך כתיבת עבודת דוקטורט לאחר שהצעת המחקר נשפטה ואושרה או תזה העוסקות בנושאים אלו, מוזמנים/ות להגיש את מועמדותם/ן לקבלת מענק כספי. המלגות הן בסך 12,000 ₪ לתלמידי/ות הדוקטורט ו- 5000 ₪ לתלמידי/ות התואר השני.
  1. ** תלמידי/ות הדוקטורט יהיו מחויבים/ות בכתיבת מאמר קצר בשפה העברית עבור המכון המבוסס על עבודתם/ן. המאמרים שיימצאו מתאימים ויעמדו בסטנדרטים המחקריים המתאימים יפורסמו במסגרת המכון לאחר שיעברו שיפוט אקדמי כמקובל.** כלל הזוכים/ות במלגות יתחייבו להגיש עותק של עבודתם/ן למכון בתום הכתיבה ולציין את קבלת המלגה בדברי התודות.

הגשת מועמדות: יש להגיש את הפריטים הבאים בקובץ PDF אחד:

  1. נושא העבודה ותקציר בהיקף של עד 5 עמודים, הכולל את רציונל המחקר, מסגרתו התיאורטית, סקירת ספרות קצרה, מתודולוגיה, מבנה המחקר ואופן ביצועו. יש להקפיד להפריד בין חלקי התקציר בצורה ברורה.
  2. אישור על הצעת העבודה מרשויות אקדמיות מתאימות )אישור מעבר לשלב ב’ לדוקטורנטים ואישור הצעת התיזה למסטרנטים(. המלגה איננה מיועדת למי שכבר מסר/ה את העבודה לשיפוט.
  3.  שני מכתבי המלצה )אחד ממנחה/ת העבודה(. מכתבי ההמלצה אמורים להישלח על ידי הממליצים ישירות למייל המכון.
  4. קורות חיים אקדמיים.
  5. מידע על מלגות ופרסים נוספים שהוענקו עבור העבודה. למגישים בפעם השנייה, חשוב לציין זאת ולדאוג להמלצות מעודכנות.
  6. פרטים אישיים: יש לציין על הבקשה שם מלא, כתובת, מס’ טלפון, מס’ ת.ז. וכתובת דואר אלקטרוני.

את כל החומרים המפורטים לעיל יש להגיש ב- 2 עותקים בדואר רגיל וכן למייל המכון בקובץ אחד מרוכז בפורמט PDF, לא יאוחר מתאריך ה- 15/01/2021.

כתובת למשלוח: מכון וולטר ליבך לחקר הדו-קיום היהודי-ערבי, בניין נפתלי, קומה 5, הפקולטה למדעי החברה, אוניברסיטת תל אביב, תל אביב, 6997801

מכון וולטר ליבךהפקולטה למדעי החברה ע”ש גרשון גורדוןאוניברסיטת תל אביב


חוקתיות, כינון חוקה וריבונות- מבט תיאורטי והשוואתי (2020)

חוקתיות, כינון חוקה וריבונות- מבט תיאורטי והשוואתי (2020)

הפוליטיקה של הכלה והדרה ביחסי ישראלים ופלסטינים (2020)

הפוליטיקה של הכלה והדרה ביחסי ישראלים ופלסטינים (2020)

שליטה וקוץ בה- תמורות במדיניות המדינה כלפי אזרחיה הערבים והשפעתן על התנהגותם

שליטה וקוץ בה (2020)

הפעילות התקשורתית של מיעוטים לאומיים בעידן האלגוריתמי

הפעילות התקשורתית של מיעוטים לאומיים בעידן האלגוריתמי (2020)

ארגונים ערביים פלסטיניים בחברה האזרחית בישראל

ארגונים ערביים פלסטיניים בחברה האזרחית בישראל (2019)

הסכסוך- היבטים סוציולוגיים, היסטוריים וגיאו- פוליטיים

הסכסוך- היבטים סוציולוגיים, היסטוריים וגיאו- פוליטיים (2019)

החברה האזרחית הערבית בישראל

החברה האזרחית הערבית בישראל (2017)

הנכבה בזכרון הלאומי של ישראל (2015)

הנכבה בזכרון הלאומי של ישראל (2015)

השפעת הכיבוש על החברה הישראלית (2013)

השפעת הכיבוש על החברה הישראלית (2013)

קרקע, דמוקרטיה ויחסי רב מיעוט (2013)

קרקע, דמוקרטיה ויחסי רב מיעוט (2013)

דיאלקטיקה של זיכרון ושכחה בעצמאות הישראלית ובנכבה הפסלטינית: נקודת מבט עכשווית

דיאלקטיקה של זיכרון ושכחה בעצמאות הישראלית ובנכבה הפסלטינית (2010)

רב-תרבותיות ואתגרי האזרחות הדיפרנציאלית בישראל

רב-תרבותיות ואתגרי האזרחות הדיפרנציאלית בישראל (2007)

קישורים שימושיים

היכנסו לעמוד הפייסבוק החדש של מכון וולטר ליבךצפו בהרצאה בנושא בחירות 2019: הגמוניה חדשה או ייצוג הולם של עמדות הציבור?! בהשתתפות ח”כ איימן עודה וגב’ מיכל בירןערב עיון ושיח עם צאת הספר “סירוב: חובת הציות וזכות המצפון” מאת עדית זרטלישראל והפלסטינים – לקראת הכרעות גורליות? יום עיון פרי שיתוף פעולה בין מכון וולטר ליבך ומרכז תמי שטינמץ למחקרי שלום.


Tel Aviv University

  בחירות 2019: הגמוניה חדשה או ייצוג הולם של עמדות הציבור?  

איימן עודה

מיכל בירן

מנחה: פרופ’ אמל ג’מאל

  • Location: אולם ונצואלה
  • Date: Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Published inבחירות 2019: הגמוניה חדשה או ייצוג הולם של עמדות הציבור?


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Mediterranean Politics
ISSN: (Print) (Online) Journal homepage:
Half-Statelessness and Hannah Arendt’s
Citizenship Model: The Case of Palestinian Citizens
of Israel
Noa Gani & Amal Jamal
To cite this article: Noa Gani & Amal Jamal (2020): Half-Statelessness and Hannah Arendt’s
Citizenship Model: The Case of Palestinian Citizens of Israel, Mediterranean Politics, DOI:
To link to this article:
Published online: 23 Sep 2020.
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Half-Statelessness and Hannah Arendt’s Citizenship
Model: The Case of Palestinian Citizens of Israel
Noa Gani  a and Amal Jamal  b
aThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; bSchool of Political Science, Government and
International Affairs, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
This article explores Hannah Arendt’s conceptualization of half-statelessness,
theorized as the partial invasion of citizenship by characteristics of statelessness.
It is a process of dehumanization, since according to Arendt, human beings
can realize their humanness only within the confines of genuine citizenship.
Explicating Arendt’s conceptualization of half-statelessness helps us better understand
her dynamic citizenship theory and better explain contemporary developments,
characterizing ethnic national states in which populist trends lead to
gradual substantial revocation of national minorities’ citizenship status. We illustrate
the analytical advantages of Arendt’s conceptualization and demonstrate
the meaning of dehumanization by examining the reaction of Palestinian citizens
of Israel to recent radicalization of state policies towards them.
KEYWORDS Hannah Arendt; citizenship; half-statelessness; dehumanization; israel; palestinian minority


סירוב : חובת הציות וזכות המצפון : מסה

מחבר: עדית זרטל שנת ההוצאה:  2018 מילות מפתח: סרבנות גיוס ושירות צבאי; סרבנות מטעמי מצפון; סרבני גיוס מטעמי מצפון; סרבני מלחמה; סרבנות פוליטית מה קורה לאדם שנוף מולדתו הושחת ונגזל ממנו, שמדינתו וחוקיה השתעבדו לאי־חוקיות ולאי־צדק? האם עליו לציית אוטומטית לתביעות המדינה או לדבוק בחופש המצפון וכבוד־האדם שלו ולסרב, מכוח אהבת המולדת שלו? סירוב מצפוני הוא אירוע נדיר שמעטים מסוגלים לו. כיצד נעשה אדם לסרבן? מהם התנאים האינדיווידואליים, החברתיים והפוליטיים, שבהם מבשיל אירוע כזה ומתחולל? איך מהדהד הסירוב במרחב הציבורי ומה הוא מעיד עליו? זיקתו של הסירוב המצפוני למדינה הדמוקרטית ברורה ויכולה לשמש תו־תקן לעצם מהותה הדמוקרטית של מדינה. אולם הדמוקרטיה הישראלית רודפת את סרבני המצפון שלה, במיוחד מאז היו הכיבוש ומלחמותיו למניעיהם העיקריים. שעה שמצב הכיבוש מוכחש או נחשב לנורמטיבי הצבא, בגיבּוּיָן של המערכות הפוליטית והמשפטית, מגדיר את סרבני המצפון כאיום ביטחוני קיומי, סכנה לדמוקרטיה ולשלטון החוק, ומענישם בהתאם: צעירים וצעירות ישראלים, חיילי מילואים או סרבני־חִיּוּל טרם גיוס, המסרבים לשרת בצבא כובש, משוגרים זה חצי מאה לפרקי זמן ממושכים בכלא הצבאי. ציות וסירוב; מַחְשֶׁבֶת הסירוב והזכות – והחובה – של אזרחים לומר “לא” לשלטון ולחוק; הרקע האינטלקטואלי, הפוליטי והתרבותי של סרבנות המצפון; המניעים הקונקרטיים, המעוגנים בזמן ובמקום, של סרבנות המצפון ואופני הפעולה שלה, תכליותיה, והתנגשויותיה עם מוסדות המדינה ועם מיתוסֵי היסוד שלה; והפולמוס המתמשך המתנהל סביב הסירוב במרחב הציבורי – בצבא, בבתי המשפט, בתקשורת ובאקדמיה – הם נושאי הדיון בספר מעמיק, סוחף וחיוני זה. אל הספרנושא/נושאים: , שלטון וממשלפוליטיקה וממשלתוכן הספר:



Tel Aviv University

Searchסירוב -  חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

תאריך: 6.1.19

דברי ברכה

דברי ברכה

  • Lecturer(s) יו”ר: אורי לנדסברג, מרכז מינרבה למדעי רוח, אוניברסיטת תל אביב
  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019

Published in סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

עדי אופיר

עדי אופיר

  • Lecturer(s) עדי אופיר, מכון קוגוט למדעי הרוח, אוניברסיטת בראון
  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019

Published in סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

חגית גור זיו

חגית גור זיו

  • Lecturer(s) חגית גור זיו, המחלקה לחינוך לגיל הרך, מכללת סמינר הקיבוצים
  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019

Published in סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

מיכאל ספרד

מיכאל ספרד

  • Lecturer(s) מיכאל ספרד, עורך דין
  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019

Published in סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

מושב א’ – דיון

מושב א' - דיון

  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019

Published in סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

יונתן שפירא

יונתן שפירא

  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019

Published in סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

גדי אלגזי

גדי אלגזי

  • Lecturer(s) גדי אלגזי, החוג להיסטוריה כללית, אוניברסיטת תל אביב
  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019

Published in סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

זהבה גלאון

זהבה גלאון

  • Lecturer(s) זהבה גלאון, יו”ר מרצ לשעבר
  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019

Published in סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

אמל ג’מאל

אמל ג'מאל

  • Lecturer(s) אמל ג’מאל, בית הספר למדע המדינה, ממשל ויחסים בינלואמיים, אוניברסיטת תל אביב
  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019

Published in סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

עדית זרטל

עדית זרטל

  • Lecturer(s) עדית זרטל, מחברת הספר “סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון”
  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019

Published in סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

יונתן שפירא

יונתן שפיר

  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019


Uri Goren (Greenblatt) who died in 2017, was a member of the Gideonim (specialists of the Haganah in Morse code communication between Palestine and the Diaspora, from both ships and land stations); commander of the illegal immigrant ship “Latrun” during the British Mandate period; a colonel in the IDF who commanded the technological unit of the Intelligence Division, and the first director of the company ECI.

On Both Sides of the Crypto By Uri Goren Translated by Aryeh Malkin, Kibbutz Ein Dor April 2010

Page 45

Another Look at Aliya: Idith Zertal
Idith Zertal, born at Kibbutz Ein Shemer, is a leading historian in the stream of those who deny Zionism and preach a different view of it and of the State of Israel. They are called the ”New Historians”. I came across her name and her ideas in an article published in the newspaper Haaretz, which referred to her book
“The Jews’ Gold” 1 – the result of her research. I learned from that article, that it was the author’s opinion that the leadership of the Jewish settlements in Palestine, with Ben Gurion at its head, brought the remnants of the Holocaust to Palestine for the purpose of using them to increase the fighting forces, in preparation for the War of Independence which was bound to come. In other words, they were to be cannon fodder!
I wrote Idith a letter in which I expressed my amazement in a very polite language. I received an answer from her, thanking me for the letter and suggesting that I read the book itself, after which we could meet and discuss it again. I purchased the book and read all of the more than 500 pages, but I ended up very much angrier than I had been after reading only the article.
The book describes the rescue of the remnants of the Holocaust in a way which would make any anti-Zionist and anti-Semite proud. She ignores the fact that no other country in the world agreed to allow the entry of Jews and that they had been left without homes, without families and without hope. Zertal describes the leaders of the Yishuv as a bunch of cruel individuals working in devious ways and forcing desperate people to come to Palestine. Indeed, having no choice, they are brought on rotting and dangerous ships,

1 Translation of the Hebrew title; it was published in English under the title: From Catastrophe to Power: The Holocaust Survivors and the Emergence of Israel

under sub-human conditions, they arrive in this foreign country and are thrown into a desperate war, in the course of which many of them are killed. She describes the cruelty of the young Israelis, the Palyam and the soldiers of the Jewish Brigade and other branches of service in bringing these ‘slave ships’ to Palestine.
I did not find in the book any supporting testimonials; not from one ma’apil nor from one Palyamnik such as I. I know how strongly the desire of the remnants of the Holocaust was to come to Palestine and how disappointed they were if their turn was delayed. The “Exodus” is the best example of this. After arriving in Palestine and then being sent back to France, they were offered refuge there, yet only a few of the weakest individuals took up the offer. Sick people and women with advanced pregnancy were the only ones to leave the vessel. They also found a means to return to Israel at a later date. In a telephone conversation with Zertal I expressed surprise that she did not interview any ma’apilim or any of those who accompanied them. Her peculiar answer was: “History is based on written material and not on interviews.” I said that may be correct as regards ancient history but it is ridiculous when there are many who are still living that experienced an event. Our discussion became more severe and was discontinued. I was cut off by her for some time after that, but I wrote her a letter and detailed my criticism of her book.

A few years later I was invited to participate as a speaker in a seminar on Aliya Bet at Kibbutz Ma’ale HaChamisha. Idith Zertal was to lecture at the seminar. The organizer of the seminar asked me if my name could also be included as a speaker and I agreed. I suggested, however, that if my name was published then Idith was likely to beg to be excused from appearing. That is exactly what happened. In my lecture I told my own personal story after which I expressed my anger at Idith’s book and accused her of telling a bunch of lies. I finished my diatribe against her with a very severe sentence: In Zertal’s description of the actions of Ben Gurion and the leadership of the Yishuv, the only accusation missing is that Ben Gurion encouraged Hitler to wipe out the Jews so that we would be able to convince the remainder to come with us to Palestine, where they could act as ‘cannon fodder’. I admit that I exaggerated, but I was mad!
The letter exchange with Dr. Idith Zertal is enclosed in appendix A.

Appendix A: Letter to Dr. Idith Zertal and her reply
June 17, 1996
Dr. Idith Zertal
Editorial Board of “Times” [Hebrew: Zmanim]
Department for the Study of Zionism
Tel Aviv University, Chaim Levanon Street, Tel Aviv
Shalom Idith;
I read and reread an article by Dalia Karpel dealing with your book, and among other subjects, with the matter of the Aliya movement (1945 – 1948) and the role played by the leaders of the Yishuv (the Jewish settlement in Palestine), the Mosad for Aliya Bet and the Palyam in its organization. I tend to believe that the author (Karpel) misquoted you or did not interpret you correctly. If otherwise, then I am completely confused and my request is that you give me a private lesson in the history of the Holocaust and “illegal immigration”. I am willing to pay any price you name for such a lesson, if it will clear up the confusion in which I find myself.
I am a Sabra born in 1926 and when I became 19 and was a communications person in the Hagana, I was called to the offices of the “Mosad” in Tel Aviv, where they offered me to join their operation and to go to Europe, where I would work together with other Aliya Bet delegates. Although my parents had a farm to take
174 Uri Goren
care of and my older brother was already in Europe, as a member of the Jewish Brigade, my parents urged me to accept the challenge. That is how it came about that I left Palestine by a devious route, (described by Lova Eliav in his book, “The Vessel Ulua”), arrived in Italy and continued from there to Southern France. From a wireless operator I became the manager of a camp, where immigrants were being prepared and trained for Aliya. Following that, I was commander of the immigrant vessel “Latrun”, which ended up with the immigrants and I being sent to the Cyprus detention camps. I returned to Europe and once again was appointed to take charge of the immigrant camp “Grand Arénas”. It was here that the immigrants, who later sailed on the “Exodus” were gathered; I met these same immigrants again when they arrived at Port de Bouc, on the deportation ships.
You can understand from the short review of this chapter in my life, that I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of the survivors of the Holocaust, and as a young Sabra I was appalled and deeply affected by what I saw. I heard many of their stories during days and nights that I spent with them and tried to ease their paths as best I could. As a result I earned the thanks and the good will of many of them and have maintained contact with some until the present.
This in brief, is part of my story, which is similar to that of many of my friends in the Palyam, the Machal, the Jewish Brigade and
On Both Sides of the Crypto 175
other groups of volunteers, who had contact with the survivors. I would now be extremely grateful to you if you explained your view to me. I shall present my questions as concisely as possible: If I understood correctly (perhaps I did not), in your research you criticize the actions of the leaders of the Yishuv, the Mosad for Aliya Bet and the one who stood at its head, Shaul Avigur, and the men of the Palyam, (I was one of them during a part of my career). At the end of WW II hundreds of thousands of survivors found themselves destitute and homeless and there was no country in the whole world that was willing to take them or to assist them in their hour of need. On the contrary; they closed their gates before them (including of course, those of Palestine).
A colorless man (as Karpel says you describe him), Shaul Avigur, answered the call of the leadership of the Yishuv, and created the Mosad for Aliya Bet, an amazing organization which spread its branches through many of the countries of ravaged Europe, and took the survivors of the Holocaust under its wing. It did its best to rehabilitate them and brought them from inland Europe to the shores of the Mediterranean, supplied them with their basic needs, bought ships and brought them safely to the shores of Palestine. About 140,000 refugees were brought to Palestine in this manner and this – in no small way – contributed to the establishment of the State of Israel, in which you and I live today.
176 Uri Goren
I lived with the survivors of the Holocaust for three years and I can truthfully say that their greatest wish and their greatest hope was to be able to come to Palestine, the Land of Israel. To attain this goal they were ready to face the most extreme hardships. The physical conditions on the immigrant vessels were atrocious. But I bear witness that I and my friends, who worked with me in preparing the vessels, did everything possible on our part to ease the suffering of the passengers. When I was commander of the “Latrun”, I spent hours in the hold of the vessel and tried to encourage the survivors and make their journey a bit more comfortable. My Palyam friends on other vessels did the very same thing.
Moreover, before every voyage we explained to the survivors exactly what the conditions of the voyage would be like. We knew from experience though, that no difficulty would convince them to forego the trip. If, for some reason we would refuse to take on a passenger because of that person’s state of health or some other reason, the person would plead and beg and sometimes even threaten us, trying to convince us not to strike him from the list of passengers.
The case of the “Exodus” can serve as a model for research. 4,500 passengers were returned to Port de Bouc by the deportation ships. The French authorities, under the pressure of the British, invited them to come ashore, where they would be granted asylum.
On Both Sides of the Crypto 177
Nevertheless, none but a few who were very sick agreed to leave the ships. The rest went back to Hamburg, in Germany, to another detention camp. I was amazed when, not long after, I met a goodly number of them in a transition camp of ours in southern France. These survivors who had been through all that they had been through, were ready to make the terrible journey once again on a Hagana vessel. Forty years later, in 1986 I believe, the survivors of the “Exodus” had a convention in the “Culture Hall” of Tel Aviv. I was overwrought with emotion to see so many healthy and happy people with their families and offspring who came to be present at that meeting. They and the Palyamnikim who brought them are ingredients in a typical cross-section of the present Israeli population. Their children are successful farmers, scientists, businessmen and industrialists. Almost all of them have made their way and found their niche and are proud members of the Israeli community. Those that recognize me point me out to their children and say: “He brought me to Palestine.” That is my reward.
Idith, if I understood you correctly, you claim in your research that the men of the Mosad and the Palyam used the ma’apilim (the immigrants) for their own political and other purposes. I just cannot understand such a statement. First and most important: because I know how strongly the ma’apilim felt about coming to Palestine. You might say that those that fought and fell in the War of Independence were also merely pawns in the hands of the leadership of the Yishuv. Among those who fell was Gur, the son
178 Uri Goren
of that ‘colorless man’, Shaul Avigur. What I have written here is merely a smattering, which I will sum up with a few thoughts: What would historians have said if the leadership of the Yishuv had not mobilized to save the lives of the remnants of the Holocaust? I and my friends are really hurt and insulted by the thoughts expressed in your research. Most of us volunteered to do what we did, and did our jobs with the utmost devotion. I went to Europe with a suitcase of clothes from my closet and returned in a shirt and a pair of short pants. I did not think that I was doing something outstanding, but to present us as exploiters?!? What would have happened to the remnants of the Holocaust if the Yishuv in Palestine had not opened its arms to take them in? The real heroes of this mass immigration were the ma’apilim themselves. No one knows that better than we, the ones who accompanied them.
Shaul Avigur was a wise and well-balanced leader. I would hate to have seen someone who pulled weighty decisions ‘out of his sleeve’ in his place. If he was calculating and careful in making a decision, then that is paying him a compliment. Where did you get your inside information from, by the way? Might I suggest that you take a poll; that is a popular thing to do nowadays. Question the ma’apilim living in Israel today and ask them, what they think of the whole Aliya Bet operation. Best do this quickly because time is running out and the biological clock is ticking away. I shall be grateful to you if you would study these pages and react. I would
On Both Sides of the Crypto 179
be more than happy to discuss this with you personally. I am of course willing to pay for the time you devote to this subject.
Thank you, and cordial greetings,
Uri Goren
Dr. Idith Zertal’s letter of reply
June 19th, 1996
Shalom Uri Goren,
Firstly, thank you for your letter. It is easy to see that you wrote it from your heart, with emotion and even with pain. I do not wish, nor can I remain inattentive to it. At any rate, the style and the gentlemanliness of your letter is very much better than those of the vulgar type that appeared in the supplement of “Haaretz”, following an interview with me. I will try to answer your questions within the limits of this letter.
The interview was really terrible and left me feeling frustrated. I tried to prevent its being published but could not. It had been readied for publishing and it was election week, so the editors had nothing suitable with which to replace it. All I can say to you is that much that was said was abbreviated or removed from its context, and many quotes were actually misquotes. For every ten sentences of written material, only one sentence appeared, leaving
180 Uri Goren
only the extreme impression, a vulgar condensation of a complicated subject. This is not my style or my way of expressing myself. However, having agreed to an interview, I decided not to voice my complaint about the result in public, nor to complain of the injustice that had been done me. I have heard politicians complain about their having been misunderstood and having their words taken out of context; I preferred to let it pass in silence.
You may have noticed that I have not reacted to the vulgar letters that were published. I haven’t because: a) I believe that everyone has the right to his own opinion, and the right to express it; b) I cannot argue about feelings, or with memories or what people think they remember; c) Most important, no one bothered to read my book before they wrote their reaction to it.
Now I address you and your reaction. You say that you are ready to pay any price for a lesson in history from me. Uri Goren, you are not serious. For seventy shekels you can purchase my book which has 674 pages and more than one hundred more pages of notes and bibliography. Had you read the book, a good number of your questions would have been answered, and you might have also learned that my knowledge of the subject is extensive. (Allow me to mention that the work on my doctorate received the designation, “cum laude”). You would have found that a good deal of what you pointed out appears in the book.
I must assume that there may be some errors in the book, and there is room for some argument relating to my interpretation of some events, but I assure you that it was written only after thorough research and also after I developed a personal proximity and involvement with the subject. I tried to maintain a high standard of intellectual honesty. I am certain that had read the book you would have found that many things are even more complicated than you imagined. You might even found some facts and material that were not known to you and you might even agreed with some of my conclusions. What surprises me about the book is how little people are ready to learn more about the past, and think that they already ‘know it all’. I am surprised at the aggressiveness expressed in the letters and the inability to be ready to listen and perhaps learn something new. Is it really too much of an intellectual effort to ask of you to read my book? I would then be happy to discuss it with you and even to debate it.
As a rule, historical research is not a copy of what people recall, or the retelling of what people were once told and recall. Decent historical research involves critical analysis, sometimes painful analysis of texts and documents of the related period. This of course includes protocols of the period dealt with; decisions taken at that time as well as correspondence. Such critical analysis applied years after the event itself, when compared to the memories of those who were there at the time, usually leads to a problematic situation, at least, and sometimes to outright confrontation. Those who were present at an event of the past usually do not have all the information and the background to the particular event, and they are bound to be biased by a personal attitude to the people or to the matter involved.
What I have written here is also only ‘the tip of the iceberg’. My thoughts on historical discipline and on writing history are topics upon which numerous books have been written, and this subject is the main focus of my academic and intellectual endeavor today. Nothing that I have written has been done off-handed, everything has been done only after deep thought and consideration of all the material that I have on hand. My book stands on its own merits; read it and then judge it.
Until then, I wish you all the best, and I thank you once again for your letter.
Dr. Idith Zertal

The Battle over the Meaning of anti-Semitism


Editorial Note

Even before Joe Biden was sworn as the new president, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel groups, among them academics, have urged to abandon the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of anti-Semitism. They hope that the Democratic administration would undo Trump’s Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism, issued on December 11, 2019.  

Trump’s Executive Order stated: “My Administration is committed to combating the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incidents in the United States and around the world.  Anti-Semitic incidents have increased since 2013, and students, in particular, continue to face anti Semitic harassment in schools and on university and college campuses.” As a result, “Discrimination against Jews may give rise to a Title VI violation when the discrimination is based on an individual’s race, color, or national origin.”

The Executive Order instructed agencies charged with enforcing Title VI to consider the IHRA Definition, which states:  

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.  Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” The examples identified by IHRA “might be useful as evidence of discriminatory intent.” 

Trump ordered that “the head of each agency charged with enforcing Title VI shall submit a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, identifying additional nondiscrimination authorities within its enforcement authority with respect to which the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism could be considered.”

The U.K. has followed suit. As IAM reported on October 15, 2020, Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, has warned universities that they could have their funding cut if they refuse to adopt the IHRA definition. He noted “too many disturbing incidents of anti-Semitism on campus and a lack of willingness by too many universities to confront this.” He added that “While many universities have rightly been quick over the summer to demonstrate their readiness to take action against other forms of racism, it is frankly disturbing that so many are dragging their feet on the matter of anti-Semitism.”  Williamson has asked university officials to consider directing their Office for Students to impose a new regulatory condition of registration using the IHRA Definition. Otherwise, they will face suspension of funding.

Soon after Trump’s Executive Order was announced, the media reported that “the move appears to be targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” which encourages boycott against Israel “for what it deems violations of international law.” BDS groups on college campuses hold annual events like “Israeli Apartheid Week” to push for Palestinian rights. The critics argued that Trump might use the order to “pander to Jewish constituents” or “as a goodwill gesture toward Israel,” which “tries to combat anti-Semitism and the BDS movement around the world.” Others worried that the “broadened definition of anti-Semitism” could infringe on free speech.

One such critic was Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, who said that the move would “silence Palestinian rights activism” because “Many Israeli apartheid apologists… are looking to silence a debate they know they can’t win.”

Evidently, many pro-Palestinians are putting all their weight behind the campaign to cancel the IHRA Definition. Omar Barghouti, the Qatari born Palestinian and one of the key activists in the BDS movement, would speak in a Zoom briefing on Sat, 23 January 2021, titled “how to oppose the IHRA definition across the UK, and Gavin Williamson’s attempt to impose it in England.” Worth noting, Barghouti lives in Israel and has studied at Tel Aviv University for nearly a decade. Other briefing participants are Ben Jamal, Naomi Wimborne Idrissi, Jonathan Rosenhead, Salma Karmi-Ayyoub, Tom Hickey, Mark Abel, Ghada Karmi, and Richard Kuper. The Zoom briefing is organized and hosted by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP). 

The purpose is to discuss how to “understand and resist” the pressure on universities and colleges to adopt the “contentious” IHRA Definition and “the Gavin Williamson’s attempt to force universities to comply through the threat of financial penalties.” The briefing will “address both the abuse of the definition as a means of silencing Palestine advocacy, and the attack on academic freedom and university autonomy.”  The briefing aims to “provide a toolkit for negotiating with managements, preparing motions or statements or talks on the definition, and campaigning amongst staff and students.”

Also, BRICUP intends to discuss the “misuse” of the IHRA definition, which “conflicts with the responsibilities of universities under the Equality and Education Acts,” and the potential impact on “freedom of academic staff to teach and research in their fields.” Students’ ability to debate issues on Palestine/Israel and to “interrogate the nature of Zionism.” How staff and Academic Boards in universities, and trade unions in colleges and elsewhere, “can resist the adoption of the definition by their institutions, and how they can defend Palestine advocacy in the face of the definition.”

Members of BRICUP perceive the IHRA Definition as “inadequate” because “It fails to capture some of the most virulent and most insidious forms of the disease; and its ambiguity and lack of precision leaves it seriously defective for use for either disciplinary, regulatory or legal purposes. It is also mired in controversy as an unsubtle attempt to block campaigns over the suppression of Palestinian rights by allowing them to become targeted as antisemitic.” BRICUP argues that “Palestinians have long warned that the widespread adoption of the definition and its examples would block campaigns over the suppression of Palestinian rights in just this manner.”   

Interestingly, however, there are no clauses in the IHRA definition which infringe on Palestinian rights, nor does it mention BDS. The only three clauses that could affect Palestinians are:  “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor;” “Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation;” and “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

Supporting the IHRA Definition is Kenneth L. Marcus, the author of the book “The Definition of Anti-Semitism.”  He noted that, as Vice President, Biden has spoken about the need to address anti-Semitism. Marcus suggested two new tools that can help President Biden fighting anti-Semitism. First, the legislation passed by the US Congress in late December elevate the State Department’s special envoy on anti-Semitism to ambassadorial status. Such a move should enable the Biden administration to fight anti-Semitism more effectively on a global scale. Second, the European Commission and IHRA released a new handbook presenting the IHRA Working Definition within the context of twenty-two real-world anti-Semitic incidents and crimes. 

Marcus’s proposal is useful. In order to fight anti-Semitism, any incident suspected as anti-Semitic should be evaluated with the framework of the IHRA Working Definition to clarify whether it is anti-Semitic or not. Quite possibly, some pro-Palestinian activism on and off-campus may be considered anti-Semitic, a prospect that has fueled their efforts to do away with the IHRA Definition. 

Date And Time       Sat, 23 January 2021       12:30 – 15:15 IST


Online Event

How to oppose the IHRA definition across the UK, and Gavin Williamson’s attempt to impose it in England.

About this Event

Omar Barghouti • Ben Jamal • Naomi Wimborne Idrissi • Jonathan Rosenhead • Salma Karmi-Ayyoub • Tom Hickey • Mark Abel • Ghada Karmi • Richard Kuper

Organised and hosted by BRICUP (British Committee for the Universities of Palestine)

This is a Zoom briefing on how to understand and resist the pressure on universities and colleges across the country to adopt the contentious IHRA Definition of Antisemitism. In England this has now taken a new form: the attempt by the Secretary of State, Gavin Williamson, to force universities to comply through the threat of financial penalties.

The briefing will address both the abuse of the definition as a means of silencing Palestine advocacy, and the attack on academic freedom and university autonomy which Wiliamson’s demand represents. And it is designed to provide a toolkit for negotiating with managements, preparing motions or statements or talks on the definition, and campaigning amongst staff and students.

Registered participants will receive informative documents in advance, and will be sent log-on details on the day before the event.

The briefing will cover

  • the origin and misuse of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism;
  • how the IHRA definition conflicts with the responsibilities of universities under the Equality and Education Acts, and the legal status of Gavin Williamson’s threat;
  • the potential impact of adopting the definition on university autonomy, and on the freedom of academic staff to teach and research in their fields – especially but not only if they involve the study of the Middle East;
  • the potential impact of the definition on students’ ability to debate Palestine/Israel issues on university campuses, and to interrogate the nature of Zionism; and
  • how individual staff and Academic Boards in universities, and trade unions in colleges and elsewhere, can resist the adoption of the definition by their institutions, and how they can defend Palestine advocacy in the face of the definition.


Introductory remarks Jonathan Rosenhead  (British Committee for the Universities of Palestine – BRICUP)

The context  Ben Jamal   (Palestine Solidarity Campaign – PSC)

Omar Barghouti   (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel – PACBI)

Session One

Chair and respondent  Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi  (Free Speech on Israel)

Jonathan Rosenhead  What’s wrong with the IHRA Definition?

Salma Karmi-Ayyoub   (Barrister and Consultant on Human Rights)  The legal status of the IHRA definition, and of Williamson’s threat


Session Two

Chair and respondent   Ghada Karmi   (Author, Activist and Academic)

Tom Hickey   (BRICUP)   The definition and its impact on research, teaching and debate about Palestine

Mark Abel   (University of Brighton UCU)   Defending Palestine advocacy and academic freedom


Closing remarks

Richard Kuper (Jewish Voice for Labour and socialist publisher)   and  Jonathan Rosenhead  (BRICUP)  

  Participants may find the latest edition of the BRICUP Newsletter (no.138) helpful. This and all previous issues can be accessed on the BRICUP website.  


  Left-Wing Jewish Groups’ Rejection of Holocaust Alliance Antisemitism Definition Meets Criticism  

  by Algemeiner StaffJANUARY 12, 2021 6:19 PM

A statement from a coalition of progressive Jewish groups rejecting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism because it included anti-Zionism among its examples encountered criticism on social media on Tuesday.

The statement from the Progressive Israel Network, which includes the left-wing lobby group J Street, argued that the definition — which has been adopted by dozens of governments, NGOs, sporting organizations and other civic institutions around the world — stifles “legitimate free speech, criticism of Israeli government actions, and advocacy for Palestinian rights.”

The statement acknowledged that there “can be no doubt that some anti-Zionists and critics of Israeli policy can sometimes cross the line into antisemitism.” However, it went on to describe as “harmful overreach” the US State Department’s “unambiguous declarations that  ‘anti-Zionism is antisemitism’ and that ‘the Global BDS Campaign [is] a manifestation of antisemitism.’”

The statement echoed similar objections to the IHRA definition expressed by pro-Palestinian groups.

The words “Zionism” and “anti-Zionism” do not appear in the actual definition, which emphasizes that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”

In an article this week for the British journal Fathom, Dave Rich — director of policy for the Community Security Trust (CST) of the UK Jewish community — pointed out that IHRA definition’s examples mentioning both Jews and Israel include: “‘Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust’; ‘Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel’; ‘Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis’; or ‘Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.’”

Of the definitions critics, Rich wrote, “Do [they] really intend to claim that these examples suppress legitimate, non-antisemitic criticism of the State of Israel? If that is the case, let them try. They will struggle to persuade many people of their argument.”

Mainstream Jewish groups in the US support the IHRA definition in full. Anti Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said on Twitter on Monday that the definition “is a useful tool in fighting #antisemitism & does not restrict legitimate criticism of Israel.”

Continued Greenblatt: “To be clear, antisemitism referencing Israel still is antisemitism.”


Biden has new tools to fight anti-Semitism

Working with allies who have demonstrated their commitment to human-rights values, the president-elect can use the new anti-Semitism ambassador to strengthen American international leadership.By Kenneth L. Marcus

(January 8, 2021 / JNS) President-elect Joe Biden has two new tools that can help him in his professed priority to strengthen international ties, support human rights and combat anti-Semitism. The new tools play well to Biden’s foreign-relations experience and enduring belief in internationalism, which favors intergovernmental alliances, democratic cooperation and a liberal rule-based order.

First, in late December, Congress passed legislation elevating the State Department’s special envoy on anti-Semitism to ambassadorial status. This should enable the Biden administration to fight anti-Semitism more effectively on a global scale.

The outgoing special envoy, Elan Carr, did a remarkable job raising public awareness about the world’s oldest hatred. His predecessors in prior administrations—Ira Forman, Hannah Rosenthal and Greg Rickman—were also strong.

The enhanced position should enable Biden to succeed Carr with a high-profile successor who can work even more effectively with foreign peers. The candidates reportedly under consideration are highly qualified, including the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman and Sharon Nazarian.

Second, just today, the European Commission and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) released an excellent new handbook on fighting anti-Semitism. It presents the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, along with its guiding examples and relates those to the contexts of 22 real-world anti-Semitic incidents and crimes. The European Union had already called on its member states, as recently as December 2020, to use this definition to identify anti-Semitic incidents.

The handbook is issued to bolster this call within the European Union and to show how the working definition, including its guiding examples, can be used as a powerful defense against anti-Semitism. Its strength is in its real-world examples and best practices for policymakers.

This European contribution will reinforce longstanding U.S. efforts to make the working definition more widely adopted as the global standard. The George W. Bush administration had used a predecessor version of the IHRA definition for international affairs. The Obama administration had developed its own, nearly identical definition for this same purpose. The Trump administration adopted the IHRA definition by executive order, applying it domestically as well as internationally.

While the European Commission’s directives apply, as its name suggests, to the European Union, the United States is an IHRA member-state so the document applies here as well. This gives important elevation to the status of the IHRA definition in this country. While the Trump administration tended to go its own way, asserting leadership through mechanisms such as the Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism, the Biden team gravitates more towards international efforts such as this one.

The handbook observes that the working definition has been used by parliaments, governments, ministries, courts, law-enforcement agencies, city councils, civil-society organizations and (crucially) universities. For U.S. domestic purposes, the most important section addresses higher education, which has been a flashpoint for anti-Jewish incidents here.

It also observes that anti-Semitism in educational institutions often remains “invisible, unaddressed and unchallenged.” This is especially true when it is guised as anti-Zionism or criticism of Israel. This is a key reason why definitions are needed. Notably, the U.S. government began using the Working Definition in its oversight of higher administration during the outgoing administration.

The handbook reveals that the working definition is quickly gaining higher-education traction worldwide. For example, the German Rectors’ Conference, representing 94 percent of students at German universities, adopted the definition, declaring that it “provides a clear basis for recognizing hatred of Jews and is thus an important tool in combating it.” The rectors observed that the definition “takes into account” Israel-related anti-Semitism. The Romanian Ministry of Education promotes the adoption, by universities, of a code of conduct on anti-Semitism that incorporates the definition. Cambridge University decided, in November 2020, to adopt the definition as a “test to establish whether behavior that is in breach of the University’s rules is anti-Semitic.”

Although U.S. universities have lagged behind, they are now beginning to follow their European peers. For example, in August 2020, Florida State University’s president publicly endorsed the working definition and its contemporary examples. And in September 2020, New York University agreed to incorporate the IHRA definition into its revised non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy as part of its settlement agreement with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. These institutions are overcoming political resistance from critics of Israel, as well as erroneous charges that the definition would stifle free debate. Used properly, the definition can facilitate free speech while educating all participants in the ways that some speech can be hurtful and some conduct hateful.

These new tools can help Biden integrate domestic and international agendas. The former U.S. vice president has spoken passionately about the need to address anti-Semitism. Working with allies who have demonstrated with this new handbook their commitment to the human-rights values that he champions, he can use the new anti-Semitism ambassador to strengthen American international leadership.

Kenneth L. Marcus is founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and author of “The Definition of Anti-Semitism.” He served as Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education for Civil Rights (2018-2020).


Why are people fighting the IHRA definition of antisemitism?

Here’s what the IHRA definition says, why its supporters see it as a key for fighting Jew-hatred and why its critics are fighting it.

By BEN SALES/JTA   JANUARY 16, 2021 11:47

antisemitism signifies hatred of Jews and the ways that hatred is perpetuated through age-old conspiracy theories and their modern variants. But what about when that hatred is expressed through rhetoric about the Jewish state? Is anti-Zionism antisemitism?
Those questions have divided American Jews in recent years — and are doing so again this week.
Establishment Jewish groups want Joe Biden’s administration to treat some anti-Israel speech as antisemitism. Progressive Jewish groups disagree, worried about chilling or criminalizing legitimate criticism of Israeli policy.
At the center of the debate is a 500-word “working definition” of antisemitism, published in 2016 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA. That definition seeks to provide a guide to which statements or actions qualify as antisemitism.
It ranges from stereotypes about Jews to incitement of violence to Holocaust denial. A growing list of countries, international agencies, universities and sports teams have adopted the definition in an effort to help them recognize Jew-hatred.
But its provisions on rhetoric around Israel have sparked contentious debate, which was heightened last year when President Donald Trump signed an executive order essentially adopting the working definition as a reference for adjudicating civil rights complaints on campus. This debate has continued even as the IHRA has emphasized that the definition is not legally binding.
Here’s what the IHRA definition says, why its supporters see it as a key for fighting Jew-hatred and why its critics are fighting it.
The definition is an effort to describe an age-old hatred.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is an international network of academics, museum heads and nonprofit leaders from 34 countries that promotes Holocaust research and education.
In 2016, facing rising antisemitism around the world, the alliance drafted a definition of antisemitism that was aimed at helping countries, institutions and organizations recognize when it was taking place, and monitor and record it. The IHRA definition was based on an earlier one formulated in 2005 by a European Union agency.
The later effort was prompted by “a surge in antisemitic incidents in Western Europe, with attacks on Jewish targets including schools and synagogues,” reads a pamphlet published by the American Jewish Committee advocating for the working definition. “Governments were slow to recognize them, let alone respond to them.”
The document aims to help countries do that and covers a range of different ways that hatred of Jews can manifest.
According to the definition, antisemitism “is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews,” and that antisemitism could take physical or rhetorical form and be directed at Jews as well as non-Jews, in addition to property and institutions.
The document lists 11 ways that antisemitism could take shape. They include calling for Jews to be killed, advancing enduring Jewish stereotypes about conspiracy and control, blaming Jews as a group for the actions of individuals or various forms of denying the Holocaust.
Six of the 11 examples have to do principally with certain kinds of rhetoric around Israel. They include:

Accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel or to a global Jewish agenda than to their home countries.
Denying Jews the right to self-determination or calling Israel a “racist endeavor.”
Applying a double standard to Israel that isn’t applied to other countries.
Applying classic antisemitic smears, like the blood libel, to Israel.
Comparing Israel to the Nazis.
Holding Jews collectively responsible for Israel’s actions.

The definition says antisemitism “frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for ‘why things go wrong.’”
It is increasingly being seen as the guidebook for fighting antisemitism across the globe.
Since it was drafted, the working definition has gained currency in a growing number of nations and organizations. To date, 28 countries — mostly in Europe — have adopted the definition to help them determine what constitutes antisemitism.
In December, the Council of the European Union invited the bloc’s 27 member states to adopt the definition. Various other pan-European bodies have endorsed it as well, and in 2018 U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the definition can “can serve as a basis for law enforcement, as well as preventive policies.”
Some nongovernmental institutions — such as universities, soccer teams and, recently, an international Muslim clerical council — have also adopted the definition as a way to identify antisemitism. Last year, 145 Jewish and pro-Israel organizations wrote a letter to Facebook encouraging the platform to use the definition “as the cornerstone of Facebook’s hate speech policy regarding antisemitism.”
The U.S. State Department uses a similar definition of antisemitism, which it adopted in 2010. President George W. Bush’s State Department had endorsed the definition’s predecessor in 2007 as an “adequate initial guide” to antisemitism.
The Trump administration was even more reliant on the definition. Last year, an executive order by Trump instructed the Executive Branch to consider the IHRA definition, including its 11 examples, when investigating civil rights complaints — including those filed to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights regarding alleged discrimination on campus.
On Tuesday, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a coalition of establishment Jewish groups, sent a letter to Biden asking him to adopt Trump’s policy regarding the IHRA definition.
“We believe that all federal departments and agencies should, in their work, consider the IHRA working definition of antisemitism (with examples),” says the letter, which was sent on Jan. 12 and first reported by Jewish Insider. “We urge your administration to maintain and build upon these policies of the last three presidents.”
Critics, especially Palestinians and their advocates, say the IHRA definition inhibits free speech.
As adoption of the IHRA definition has spread, so have protests against it from coalitions of activists and academics.
The definition’s opponents say its clauses on Israel will have a chilling effect on debate around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They worry that in condemning some forms of anti-Israel speech, the definition will serve to label all critics of Israel, or pro-Palestinian activists, as antisemites.
“The effort to combat antisemitism is being misused and exploited to instead suppress legitimate free speech, criticism of Israeli government actions, and advocacy for Palestinian rights,” reads a statement opposing adoption of the IHRA definition made Jan. 12 by a coalition of American Jewish organizations with progressive positions on Israel.
Palestinians have said that the Israel provisions, including the one that bans calling Israel racist, serve to make Israel immune to criticism for its treatment of Palestinians and for what they view as its violation of international law.
“To level the charge of antisemitism against anyone who regards the existing state of Israel as racist, notwithstanding the actual institutional and constitutional discrimination upon which it is based, amounts to granting Israel absolute impunity,” a group of 122 Palestinian academics and writers wrote in The Guardian. “The IHRA definition and the way it has been deployed prohibit any discussion of the Israeli state as based on ethno-religious discrimination.”
In 2018, British Jews slammed the country’s Labour Party for adopting the definition but initially refusing to include several of the Israel-related provisions. At the time, the party was embroiled in controversy over mounting allegations of antisemitism against its officials and particularly its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime harsh critic of Israel.
Debate over the definition has flared again in the United Kingdom after the country’s education secretary instructed universities to adopt the definition. While Oxford and Cambridge have adopted the definition in recent weeks, according to The Guardian, a letter published by eight prominent British lawyers last week argues against adopting the definition.
Defenders point to the definition’s nuance on Israel and support for free speech.
The definition’s advocates say the definition distinguishes between legitimate criticism of Israel and instances where rhetoric either crosses the line into antisemitism or uses critique of the Jewish state as a front for hatred of Jews.
The definition makes clear that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”
The AJC pamphlet says the definition concerns itself only with “where and how anti-Israel animus can become a form of antisemitism, separate and apart from criticism of Israel,” and that “its careful wording leaves a wide berth for sharp and vigorous criticism of Israel’s government and policies.”
What’s more, the definition itself states that it is “non-legally binding,” and in introductions to the brochure, officials stress that point to argue that the definition should not be an obstacle to free speech.
“Non-legally binding in its nature, the working definition is helpful in public discourse as well as training for media, educators and public authorities, without impeding the legal right to freedom of speech,” writes Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission coordinator on combating antisemitism.
What was supposed to be a helpful guide has become a instrument of division.
The irony in all this is that the definition was supposed to help resolve debates over what constitutes antisemitism, not start them. But the definition has become divisive as activists have sought to give it the force of law — something that, according to one of the definition’s authors, was never supposed to happen.
“It was never intended to be a campus hate speech code,” Kenneth Stern, director of the Center for the Study of Hate at Bard College, wrote in a 2019 Guardian op-ed opposing Trump’s executive order.
Stern added that he fears right-wing pro-Israel groups “will hunt political speech with which they disagree, and threaten to bring legal cases. I’m worried administrators will now have a strong motivation to suppress, or at least condemn, political speech for fear of litigation.”
Some pro-Israel advocates have also sought to widen the definition’s scope. In a New York Times op-ed about Trump’s executive order, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner appeared to interpret the IHRA definition more expansively.
Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, wrote that the definition “makes clear” that “Anti-Zionism is antisemitism” — though the word “Zionism” does not appear in the definition itself. In employing the definition, he wrote, the executive order prevented students from harassing Jews under the guise of criticizing Israel.
“It has become fashionable among Jew haters to characterize any discriminatory behavior — no matter how loathsome — not as criticism of Jews, but of Israel,” he wrote. “This is a lie. Especially on college campuses, where discrimination, harassment and intimidation of Jewish students has become commonplace and is routinely, but wrongly, justified.”
All of this debate is now associated with the definition. That’s why the question of whether the U.S. should keep using it as its framework for identifying antisemitism has become one of the first open disputes among American Jews regarding the Biden administration.


How Israel is harming the war on antisemitism

Noa LandauPublished at 04:30

Behind the scenes, a stormy argument is taking place in the Jewish world between two camps that were aptly defined by the late Prof. Yehuda Elkana – the one that, ever since the Holocaust, has been saying “never again,” and the one that has been saying “never again to us.” Recently, this issue has been the focus of the first public battle within the American Jewish community in the run-up to Joe Biden’s inauguration as president.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is an international project that seeks to define what antisemitism is for countries and organizations worldwide in order to help them fight it, legally and educationally. On the face of it, this is a worthy goal. But the definition IHRA adopted in 2016 has become the subject of a fierce political controversy, with the Israeli government orchestrating and intensifying the drama.

The reason is the definition’s focus on examples of the “new antisemitism” against Israel as a Jewish collective. Or in other words, on whether criticism of Israel that reaches the point of anti-Zionism is necessarily antisemitic.

Thus, for instance, its examples of antisemitism include “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” An especially deceptive example, however, is “applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” After all, the Israeli-Palestinian situation is a very specific one, and so, presumably, is the criticism aimed at it.

These examples have sparked concern among many individuals and groups, including liberal Jewish organizations, that IHRA’s definition infringes on freedom of expression in a way that allows criticism of Israel to be branded antisemitic. And Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has proven in recent years that this concern is justified.

Netanyahu, the Strategic Affairs Ministry under its previous minister, Gilad Erdan, the Foreign Ministry (which has made promoting the IHRA definition a supreme diplomatic goal), and Jewish organizations funded by Israel have all argued repeatedly, citing IHRA, that the BDS movement, for example, is antisemitic. Israel has thereby proven that IHRA’s definition of antisemitism indeed has a political aspect.

In addition, the Netanyahu government has deliberately blurred the Green Line between criticism of Israel and criticism of the settlements, thereby further fanning the controversy. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration then added fuel to the fire when it announced that it planned to label important human rights organizations like Amnesty International “antisemitic.”

Since the IHRA definition was drafted, 28 countries and numerous organizations, including universities and sports associations, have adopted it, with encouragement from the Israel lobby. Last week, the European Commission even issued a nonbinding recommendation on the matter. Israel would dearly love for Facebook and Twitter to adopt it as well.

Last week, in a step that flew under the radar of the Israeli discourse, 10 liberal Jewish organizations, including J Street and the New Israel Fund, issued an unusual joint call for the Biden administration not to implement its predecessor’s pledge to enshrine the IHRA definition in law. This was in contrast to establishment Jewish organizations, which have been urging the Biden administration to adopt it.

The inauguration of a Democratic president provides an opportunity for Israel to reconsider, in light of the fact that its involvement is harming the war on antisemitism more than it is helping. The politicization of this issue is clearly an unwise, erroneous step that has also proven counterproductive; it is a battle that has actually served to strengthen the BDS movement.

BRICUP Newsletter 138
November-December 2020
P 2. Special Issue of Molecules: An Ongoing Saga. Malcolm H. Levitt, Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Southampton
P 4. Limiting free speech (on Israel) and Controlling Virtual Spaces:
Adam Abdulla, Apartheid off Campus, University of Leeds
P 5. Terrorism and false claims of ‘Islamo-leftism’ add to troubles on French university campuses
Robert Boyce- BRICUP
P 6. Undefining Antisemitism
Tom Hickey and Jonathan Rosenhead -BRICUP
P 9. A statement from 400+ Current UK Students on IHRA Definition of Antisemitism
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
P 10. Americans for Peace Now Refuses to Adopt ‘Weaponized’ Definition of Antisemitism
P 11. The University of Cambridge Adopts the IHRA Definition
Announcement P 11. Report on systematic targeting of Palestinian academia News from PACBI P 11. Israel lobby spreads more lies about Palestine groups at New York University
From the Electronic Intifada
Steven H. Miles, The Torture Doctors: Human Rights Crimes and the Road to Justice (.
Derek Summerfield
UK scholars to human rights in Palestine.
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: We welcome comments from our Supporters on any of the issues raised in our newsletter
Special Issue of Molecules: An Ongoing Saga
Malcolm H. Levitt, Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Southampton
Scientific publishing is a strange business. Publishing houses make profits through the following extraordinary business model: (1) hundreds of highly qualified professionals perform thousands of hours of academic and scientific research at the expense of the tax payers or charitable foundations, (2) they and their teams produce with great care scientific publications conforming to rigorous quality standards, (3) the research teams typeset their papers at their own expense using freely available software, to the specifications of the journal, (4) the paper is submitted to rigorous peer review by other highly qualified professionals, performed entirely without pay, (5) if successful, the authors’ institution pays a large fee to publish the article in one of the many thousands of scientific journals, with transfer of copyright to the publisher, (6) the authors or institution libraries buy back the rights to view or use the articles, even if they themselves did all the work and wrote the article. Steps (1) to (4) are performed entirely free, at no cost to the publishing house. Steps (5) and (6) result in huge profit for the publishers. It is all completely mad and has been for years. The scientific world is struggling like an insect in a spider’s web to break free from this insane model, but it is remarkably resilient, for reasons beyond the scope of this article.
Not surprisingly this, to put it mildly, attractive business model has attracted the attention of all sorts of dubious operators, some of them respectable and some of them less so. One of the big operators in this marketplace is called MDPI ( Its boss is called Shu-Kun Lin (more on him later), and although it is largely based in China, it maintains a small office in Switzerland presumably for residency advantages. MDPI runs 283 scientific journals, and one of those is a Chemistry journal called Molecules. Molecules has itself several sections, one of them being Organic Chemistry. At some point in the summer, the Organic Chemistry section of Molecules opened a special issue on a particular branch of Chemistry with a Guest Editor called Dr Mindy Levine, who declared her affiliation as “Department of Chemical Sciences, Ariel University, 65 Ramat HaGolan Street, Ariel, Israel” (see
This contentious affiliation came to the attention of BRICUP and PACBI (The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) in July. I was asked if I could help to raise the issue of the affiliation and I agreed. I thought the best way was to contact the editorial board of the special issue and request that the author’s affiliation is corrected to one meeting international standards. As the readers of this newsletter will know very well, Ariel is not in Israel. I should mention that I am a UK scientist with a lifetime of experience in chemistry and physics and my reading of the situation was that the best way to handle this issue was to avoid stirring up a political campaign, with open letters, press releases and the like, but to calmly raise the issue through the academic channels. My experience of the vast majority of scientists is that political campaigns or stunts are a big turn-off, with few exceptions. I know that this view may not be entirely consonant with BRICUP members, but that was, and remains, my reading of the situation.
While preparing to contact the editorial board I was astonished to discover that just the Organic Chemistry section of Molecules has 69 members. This is very unusual – the editorial boards of most journals have no more than 10-20 members. The reason that MDPI journals have enormous editorial boards is not because those members actually do anything. It’s seen as good for one’s CV to be on the editorial board of a journal. In return for the nominal kudos, one of the expectations of an editorial board member is that they contribute an article a year to the journal. Hence by appointing 69 scientists to the editorial board, the Organic Section of Molecules (note -just one section of a single journal) more or less ensures about 50 articles a year, together with its publication charges. Repeated over all sections of all 283 journals of MDPI, this constitutes a very nice stable profit for doing absolutely nothing except counting the income. Nice.
Anyway, I spent a good afternoon tracking down and emailing all 69 members. The email I sent was very restrained and professional in tone, and
merely proposed that the Guest Editor should be requested to correct her affiliation to one conforming to international law. I cited at least one UN resolution on the status of the occupied territories. I deliberately did not suggest a specific corrected affiliation since I did not think, and still do not think, that is a wise or appropriate thing to do. It’s likely that my view differs from many other BRICUP members here, but I do not consider myself qualified to propose the correct form of the affiliation of someone living in Ariel. However, I do consider it within my rights to point out that “Ariel, Israel” is not correct under international law.
I did not know at the time, but later came to know that the American Physical Society, an academic society that also publishes a raft of academic journals, some of them the best in the field, had already adopted an explicit policy on the acceptable form of affiliations, for example “Ariel University, Ariel, West Bank”, see If I had known this, I would have used that information.
Anyway, after sending that email, nothing appeared to happen, except that I received two or three supportive responses from members of the editorial board. However, on 14 September, I was copied in to an email from the section managing editor of Molecules to one of the editorial board members, stating that “Our leader contacted Dr Levine to discuss, and Dr Levine disagreed to change her affiliation. And in order to avoid further mistakes, they decided to close her special issue and remove her information from our journal website.” Indeed, the reference to the special issue had disappeared from the journal website.
This small victory proved to be temporary. The subsequent developments are quite confusing, but I think instructive. My inclination was to bank this small victory, and start to chip away, using a similar low-key behind-the-scenes approach wherever the same issue cropped up again. Maybe eventually enough momentum could be built up to open up the campaign and make it more public. However, I felt that the time was not right. That cautious view was definitely not shared by PACBI, and in my opinion what followed was a textbook case of overplaying one’s hand, although many others will disagree with me on that.
Quite rightly, this was seen primarily as a PACBI issue (and indeed, they had originally raised the issue with BRICUP who had got me involved.) But, in going for the declaration of a big victory with attendant press releases and open letters, the gains were lost. In my view it was a case of misguided overreach. A Zoom call between several of us ended up with an agreement to publish a press release and an open letter (although my recollection of the call seems to differ a bit from the others.) PACBI issued a press release which contained the following phrases: “Nobel Chemistry Laureate George P Smith and Royal Society Fellow Malcolm H Levitt congratulate journal on principled decision”. In a letter to the editors, they urged the journal to “correctly and factually” indicate the professor’s affiliation as “Ariel University, illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel, Occupied Palestinian Territory”. see
Although I have omitted some of the intermediate text, the press release can certainly be read as meaning that I, and also George P Smith, demanded that the journal corrected the affiliation to include “illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel”. As stated above, that is not strictly accurate. I never suggested such an affiliation, and I would not have done so. To be fair, I agreed to sign this press release, having failed to read it closely enough.
Possibly the only people who read the press release were at the offices of the Jerusalem Post in Israel. They published an article on 5 October stating that “The group is led by Prof. George Smith, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and Prof. Malcolm Levitt, a Fellow of the Royal Society. The group asked the journal to change the address to say “Ariel University, illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel, Occupied Palestinian Territory’.” As you can imagine from my views above, I was not at all happy about this. In fact, I felt that I and George were now branded as well-meaning but misguided idiots indulging in a stunt, which was of course, precisely the intention of the Jerusalem Post. George and I immediately received, as expected, a good portion of hate email. More importantly, the fuss caused the journal to reverse its decision. Indeed, the special issue has been reinstated (link above) and
will now appear with “Ariel, Israel” as the affiliation of the Guest Editor.
There is a curious sequel. George Smith, who is indeed a Nobel Laureate and a quite extraordinary person, managed to get in contact with Shu-Kun Lin, the director of MDPI. He asked him in a measured and polite email to reconsider the decision to reinstate the special issue. He received this terse reply from the man himself: “If your guys are scholars please do research. The political issue is not your business.” George and I discussed this, and I followed up with a polite email to Lin which sneakily informed him that George was a Nobel Prize winner and that maybe someone had hacked his (Lin’s) account since his email was so out of character. To my astonishment I got a prompt response from Lin apologising for his email to George, saying that he was very busy and had responded hastily, etc., and that he would consider the issue further, in light of the APS policy (see above). However, nothing has happened. That’s where we are now.
I think that for BRICUP members there is quite a bit to consider and discuss here. Did the cautious and low-key approach lead to a small but concrete gain which was thrown away? Or was the loss of the small gain a small price to pay for the attendant publicity and coverage? I have my own view.
Limiting free speech (on Israel) and Controlling Virtual Spaces:
How voices are shut down, dissent limited and topics taken off the agenda.
Adam Abdulla, Apartheid off Campus, University of Leeds
Universities and students’ unions should be the bastions of free speech and academic debate; they are meant to be open spaces for debate where faculty and students are encouraged to engage in critical discussions around issues that shape our world. It would seem, however, that some issues are more desirable than others and that some voices are more equal than others. Have we discovered the limit of free speech on western campuses and are we entering a time when arbitrary censorship of dissent will be the hallmark of higher education with virtual spaces curated by ‘big tech’? More particularly, what are the implications of marginalising Palestinian and Muslim voices in academic institutions that are also materially complicit in the continuation of Israeli violations of international law, at a time when the fight against racism and decolonisation is used as a marketing technique by universities both in the UK and the US?
In late October 2020, Zoom unilaterally deleted an online event which was originally going to be co-hosted by the Leeds University Union Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG) titled: ‘We Will Not Be Silent with Leila Khaled’. The event was in solidarity with the Palestinian feminist, freedom fighter and organiser who was prevented by the company from participating in an online panel on feminism and marginalisation of women’s voices and dissent on 23 September. The panel was organised by Professor Rabab Abdulhadi of the San Francisco State University, which failed to support Professor Abdulhadi and bowed to pressures from pro-Israel legal groups and Zoom.
Professor Abdulhadi and the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) thereupon urged solidarity groups at universities across the world to take action and organise online events to demonstrate their resistance to Zoom censorship and pressure from Zionist lobbying groups. The various groups were invited to show a video of Leila Khaled speaking on various occasions about her people’s resistance to the Israeli occupation and colonisation of their land, which has been going on continuously for nearly a hundred years with the support of major Western powers (notably the UK and US). Rising to prominence as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the 70s, Leila Khaled was the first woman to hijack an aeroplane and was the feminist face of the armed struggle against the Israeli military Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Labelled a terrorist by some, today she is an advocate of the boycott of Israel, recalling the successful campaign against Apartheid South Africa and the global solidarity with the ANC’s armed struggle. Given the historical context and Leila Khaled’s long-held support for voluntary non-violent BDS, the cancellation of her platform and the silencing of her voice should disturb every progressive
academic and student who cares about the struggle for global justice and academic freedom.
After deleting the event, Zoom went on to disable the present author’s private account. In response to the Zoom censorship and pressure from the Leeds University Union (LUU), the organisers decided that PSG would not hold the event. Instead it was held by Apartheid Off Campus (a network of UK student activists), an organisation unaffiliated to the University of Leeds or the LUU. Despite this, an article appeared in the Daily Telegraph (27.10.20) falsely claiming that the events was ‘organised by the Leeds University Palestine Solidarity Group’, and stating that ‘The university has launched an investigation into how the webinar took place despite the society [Leeds PSG] having been denied permission to host it.’
This controversy comes only a few months after the LUU failed to protect the author from racist, Islamophobic smears circulated, in secret, by two senior committee members of Leeds University Jewish Society to more than 200 student societies at the Union during the final weeks of student executive elections. The smears included accusing the author of being linked to ‘terrorists’ and implying that I am a threat to the Jewish community on Leeds campus. In reaction to the smear, an open letter to the LUU and in support of the author was signed by more than 500 students and academics across the UK within days.
Additionally, two Jewish colleagues penned a second letter, complaining to the LUU and defending the author from the bogus claims. The LUU investigated the matter and penalised the authors of the smear but failed to deliver on its promise to revise its policies with special attention to the issues that pertain to POC and Muslim students. The recent behaviour of the LUU has left some students feeling excluded and marginalised by their union at a particularly difficult time for all. Indeed, being Muslim and Palestinian at this university it is a constant struggle to have one’s voice heard and perspectives respected. Unfortunately, this sort of treatment of pro-Palestine voices does not come as a surprise.
The University of Leeds is known to be complicit in the continuation of Israeli violations of international law in Occupied East Jerusalem. Despite being forced by student activists in 2018 to divest from a number of complicit companies and recently urged by sabbatical officers in the students’ union immediately to cut its ties to the Hebrew University, Leeds still maintains the institutional connection. The Hebrew University’s student accommodation in Jerusalem is partially built on illegally annexed Palestinian land, which amounts to a war crime under international law. It has also been accused of systematically racist treatment of Palestinian students and the surrounding neighbourhood.
This recent spike in censorship should be a warning light to everyone who cares about their ability to criticise institutional racism and engage in non-violent forms of resistance to oppression. Dissent and free critical academic thought are the basis for any movement that aims to change the status quo and motivate mass solidarity, whether for the Palestinian struggle for liberation, the Black Liberation struggle or the struggle of the indigenous peoples of the Americas against continuous oppression and ongoing land theft. We must unite in our efforts and recognise that oppression and violence come in more than just a physical form.
Marginalisation, epistemic violence and denial of agency are forms of violence that complement its physical counterpart. They must not be tolerated at institutions that claim to champion equality and diversity.
Terrorism and false claims of ‘Islamo-leftism’ add to troubles on French university campuses
Robert Boyce
A series of terrorist attacks in France carried out by lone perpetrators, culminating in the brutal beheading of a middle school teacher on 16 October has had serious consequences for free speech in the country’s universities. One threat comes from conservative academics who have intensified their campaign against what they call ‘Islamo-leftism’. This is an extremely vague term which in substance amounts to an attack on French Muslims who seek to maintain their religious and cultural traditions, academics who engage in post-colonial studies which allegedly encourages ‘separatism’ among ethnic minorities, and the social sciences in general. On 22 October the Minister of National Education, citing the
example of ‘Carlos the Jackal’, another solitary terrorist of no less than 45 years ago, publicly denounced ‘Islamo-leftism’. He claimed that the dangerous ideas that contributed to ‘Islamo-leftism’, having originated in the United States, were spreading like a virus through French universities and were responsible for the current bout of terrorism. Almost immediately several hundred academics signed a petition in support of the Minister, followed by a more measured counter-petition denouncing this threat to free speech, teaching and research on campus. (The counter-manifesto can be found here )
In the midst of this controversy the French government adopted a bill on financing for future academic research which includes a clause that would inflict a year in prison and a fine of 7,500 euros on anyone who ‘disrupts the harmony’ of a university campus and three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros on groups who cause disruption. Rather than denounce this hopelessly vague charge, the Minister for Higher Education attempted to minimise this assault on free speech by lamely suggesting first, that there was really nothing new in the legislation which begged the question why it was introduced, and second, that the law would only be enforced against individuals coming from outside the university and was unlikely to be applied because university presidents would decide whether the police should intervene on campus, although this is not what the law actually states. Not surprisingly these assurances failed to dissuade the association of university presidents from declaring ‘no confidence’ in the Minister and requesting the Prime Minister to replace her.
Neither assault has directly targeted campus advocates of Palestinian human rights. But it is significant that the academic at the centre of the ‘Islamo-leftism’ campaign, the philosopher Pierre-André Taguieff, has also been the leading populariser in France of the argument that anti-Zionism is the ‘new antisemitism’ and that leftist critics of Israel are joined in an unholy alliance with Muslimists. It seems highly likely therefore that the ‘Islamo-leftism’ campaign will soon fix on supporters of Palestine. It also seems only a matter of time before pro-Palestinian activists who challenge the presence of Israeli agents on campus find themselves charged with the crime of ‘disrupting the harmony’ of their university.
Undefining Antisemitism
A comprehensive survey of key contributions so far to the debate on the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism
Tom Hickey and Jonathan Rosenhead
This is an account of an ongoing campaign in which BRICUP is deeply involved. This means, first that some of the facts may have changed before you read this, and second, that some identifying details of individuals and institutions are omitted.
Beware, Rogue Minister
In October Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education told English universities that they must adopt in complete form the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) ‘working definition’ of antisemitism by Christmas, or face financial penalties. This instruction has caused widespread consternation among university managements. They know he has no powers to instruct them on matters of internal governance, and many of them doubt that he has the powers to take any of their money away in such a cause. However, to deliberately go against the minister, particularly one not known for subtlety (or even competence) is not done lightly. For many Vice-Chancellors, ducking and weaving might be the highest form of resistance.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that Williamson’s initiative was not preceded by any civil service preparation. There are no policy papers within the Ministry on this subject – no departmental research on the current state of adoption, no systematic information gathering, no assessment of the consequences of the policy in terms of Departmental objectives, no checking that his proposed action wasn’t ultra vires. That is, it’s a personal political objective masquerading as considered government policy.
These circumstances don’t make the definition any less of a threat to university autonomy. But they do alter the balance of political and legal leverage and advantage in the ongoing tussle between the institutions and the Minister. BRICUP is engaged with other organisations to strengthen the hand of those within all of our
universities that want no truck with this definition, a campaign we will describe below.
Deconstructing the Definition
The IHRA definition itself remains what it always was: inadequate as a definition of antisemitism. It fails to capture some of the most virulent and most insidious forms of the disease; and its ambiguity and lack of precision leaves it seriously defective for use for either disciplinary, regulatory or legal purposes. It is also mired in controversy as an unsubtle attempt to block campaigns over the suppression of Palestinian rights by allowing them to become targeted as antisemitic.
As a definition, it has been widely criticised, but it is the illustrative examples attached to it that have been seen as most damaging. Their conflation of criticism of Israel with antisemitism has been noted with disapproval by the Institute of Race Relations; by eminent legal experts including ex-Court of Appeal Judge Sir Stephen Sedley; by Liberty; by leading academic experts on anti-Semitism, including Anthony Lerman and Brian Klug; by 40 global Jewish social justice organisations, and by more than 80 UK-based BAME groups. The most recent authoritative demolition of the definition, in this case specifically focused on Williamson’s attempt to impose it on universities, is that of David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck College, University of London. It was published as we were completing this article.
A legal opinion from distinguished QC Hugh Tomlinson has pointed out that restrictive use of the definition would violate both the European Convention on Human Rights’ and universities’ statutory duties under the Education Act 1986. In his conclusion, Tomlinson points to these issues which universities need to take extremely seriously:
“that public authorities cannot lawfully act in a way which is inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights’ protection of freedom of expression; and
that under the Education Act 1986 universities in particular have a specific statutory duty to ensure freedom of speech expressed in the widest terms.”
Related concerns have been expressed in the opinion by Geoffrey Robinson QC who concludes
“[t]he IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is not fit for any purpose that seeks to use it as an adjudicative standard. It is imprecise, confusing and open to misinterpretation and even manipulation.”
Even the definition’s lead author, Kenneth Stern, a US attorney and member of the American Jewish Committee Against Anti-Semitism, is opposed to this use. It wasn’t constructed with a view “to target or chill speech”, he has said; it was, rather, drafted with consistent data gathering in mind. Stern has complained that the definition “was never intended to be a campus hate speech code”, and that when so used it “is an attack on academic freedom and free speech, and will harm not only pro-Palestinian advocates, but also Jewish students and faculty, and the academy itself.” (Stern is due to speak at a meeting on December 14th.)
Yet that is precisely how it is now being used by Williamson in relation to university campuses; by local authorities in the UK to deny meeting venues to pro-Palestine advocacy groups; and by US Secretary of State Pompeo to attempt the proscription of charitable organisations that are critical of Israel, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam. Since President Trump’s Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism, the IHRA definition has, in effect, been codified into law. It is being used in the Americas and in Europe to delegitimise the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The general purpose is to silence the voice of Palestinians, and to prevent any criticism that requires Israel to meet the demands of international law.
Palestinians have long warned that the widespread adoption of the definition and its examples would block campaigns over the suppression of Palestinian rights in just this manner. In November this year, 122 Palestinian and Arab scholars, journalists and intellectuals published an impressive letter of protest in The Guardian. One of the points it makes is that the definition has mostly been deployed internationally against left-wing and human rights groups supporting Palestinian rights and specifically the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Perversely, they say, it also sidelines the very real threat to Jews coming from right-wing, white nationalist movements in Europe and the US.
Academic opposition
For those of us in the Academy there is an additional concern: that wherever it is adopted, the definition will become a lever for external interests to press for the abbreviation both of the right to free expression and of the freedom of scholarly inquiry. This pressure would impact most intensely on issues related to Israel and Palestine, but also be felt across a whole range of disciplines from history and politics through international relations, archaeology, cultural studies and psychology, to philosophy and jurisprudence.
This concern is not a theoretical possibility – it has already happened across the world. In the UK there are numerous cases in which academic colleagues have been challenged, often by outside bodies, alleging that the content of their lectures or publications is antisemitic according to the definition; in some cases this has led to formal internal disciplinary processes. In all cases to date these charges have been found to be without substance, but their negative effect on free scholarship and debate is not limited to those who have been targeted in this way.
Opposition to Williamson’s attempt to impose the definition on universities is rising. The feeling against it can be judged from messages circulated by staff at universities where possible adoption is threatened. One academic wrote this in a letter of concern to the management and Academic Board of her university:
When mobilised for political purposes alongside its illustrative examples, the definition deters criticism of Israeli law and of Israeli government policy and of the illegal occupation and settlement of the West Bank. It can be used to prevent critiques of Zionism as a political ideology that focusses on its role in the justification of the colonisation of Palestine, or on its relationship to the systematic discrimination against Palestinians in Israel.
Another wrote
… as someone who has suffered directly from continued armed Israeli aggression against my country, I find that to be denied the basic right even to criticise this violence through the peaceful production and dissemination of knowledge is an abnegation of any principle of justice.
Concern amongst academics is not limited to the curtailment of academic freedom for research on, and teaching about, the Israel-Palestine conflict. Once that Rubicon is crossed the omens are that the move will be followed in the medium term by other government interventions to influence the diet of provision (the educational ethos of institutions, the range of disciplines supported, the character and purpose of degree programmes, and even the details of syllabuses). The beginning of an onslaught on teaching based on critical race theory is a pointer to the direction of travel.
Another staff letter of dissent argued,
I am very concerned that a concession by the University … to the threat from the Secretary of State for Education in the UK would have serious implications for the status of our Institution as an autonomous site of learning and research. For this reason alone, even were there no other grounds for its rejection, the IHRA definition should not be adopted by the University.
Opposition in universities to the adoption of the IHRA definition has been widespread. In some, this has taken the form of senior academics, and those who teach and research in the most immediately affected areas, writing letters of concern to their Academic Boards. Elsewhere it has involved adopting motions at branches of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) that are critical of the definition and urge their local Academic Boards and Councils to reject the instruction from the Secretary of State, and to defy his threat of financial penalties.
In one institution in which the Academic Board last year rejected the IHRA definition as unfit, the (majority lay) Council overrode that decision and announced its adoption, though with added caveats giving rhetorical support to the ideal of free speech. The response of the Academic Board was to set up an impressive and broad Working Group to consider how the situation should be resolved. As we write the Working Group’s report, the product of almost a year of intensive work, is about to be considered by the Academic Board that established it. This could become a test case for the definition, and for the right to academic rather than government control of universities’ internal processes.
UCU opposition
The UCU branch at another university made a submission to its local management which argued that the intervention by the Secretary of State was improper and that adoption would both be incompatible with the public duty of a university, and would also create legal and industrial jeopardy for the institution. Furthermore the adoption of the IHRA definition will embroil the University in a potentially unending series of procedural challenges to the authority of its management, in a potential series of industrial disputes as the UCU is obliged to defend its members against interventions forced on the management by malevolent or innocent but misguided external forces, in the exacerbation of differences of opinion amongst its staff, and in the inevitability of legal action that seeks either to force the implementation of one interpretation of the definition or on the contrary to protect staff and students from inappropriate managerial censure provoked by malicious accusations of antisemitism. Free Speech on Israel
BRICUP has been playing a central role in this campaign, together with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Free Speech on Israel (FSoI) and Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). The three groups have jointly written to all Vice-Chancellors in the UK explaining the case against adoption of the definition, and urging a defence of academic freedom for staff and open discussion and freedom of assembly on the issue of Palestine. For institutions that have already adopted the definition, the letter was necessarily somewhat different. It asked what measures had been put in place to protect staff from malicious accusations, protect Palestinian students and their supporters from attempts to prevent campus discussions, and preserve the freedom of scholars to research the history and practices of the Middle East, and design and teach courses without fear of scurrilous attempts at intimidation.
Separately, BRICUP has written to every UCU branch in the HE sector to explain the case against the definition, to register the motions against the IHRA definition passed at successive UCU Congresses, to urge the branches to make representations to their local managements and Academic Boards, and to promise vigorously to defend any members who fall foul of malicious allegations based on the definition. It has offered UCU branch officers and activists the following model motion for debate in their branches:
This branch notes:
the Secretary of State’s attempt to force universities to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism through threats of financial penalty; that the definition has been criticized as both inadequate and dangerous by eminent lawyers and experts on antisemitism;
that its illustrative examples conflate antisemitism with criticism of Israel and Zionism;
that it has already been used to discipline colleagues’ teaching and research, and against campus meetings.
The branch believes that:
this intervention threatens university autonomy;
the definition threatens academic freedom, and seeks to outlaw support for Palestinian resistance, and specifically the BDS campaign.
The branch resolves to:
defend members and students facing malicious accusations of antisemitism;
urge Academic Board and Senate/Council to reject the definition;
circulate the BRICUP statement to all UCU members, and members of AB and Council;
organise a members’ campus (or Zoom) meeting on Palestine, Settler Colonialism, and the Threat to Academic Freedom.
If BRICUP supporters and Newsletter readers would like further information on how you might contribute to this campaign by raising the issue in your own university or school, or in your UCU branch, please contact us at .
A statement from 400+ Current UK Students on IHRA Definition of Antisemitism
As students in the UK, we are deeply concerned that the space to bring the facts of the past and ongoing dispossession faced by Palestinians into the public domain, including in UK universities,
is under severe threat by the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism with its attached examples.
We believe that the IHRA definition is a threat to the fundamental right for Palestinians to describe their lived experience of oppression. The discredited definition, and specifically its illustrative examples, conflates anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism of the laws, policies and constitutional order of the State of Israel.
We are therefore gravely concerned by the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson’s, announcement that he is actively exploring measures to force universities to adopt the definition, including cutting their access to funding streams. The vast majority of UK universities have so far rightly withstood pressure to adopt.
As a broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations warned back in 2018, the discredited IHRA examples erase Palestinian history and shield Israel’s far-right regime of occupation and oppression by conflating discrimination against Jews on the one hand with legitimate critiques of Israel’s policies and system of injustice on the other.
The concerns raised about by Palestinian civil society around the definition, and its illustrative examples, are shared by the Institute of Race Relations; eminent lawyers including ex-Court of Appeal Judge Sir Stephen Sedley; civil rights organisation Liberty; leading academic experts on antisemitism Anthony Lerman and Brian Klug; 40 global Jewish social justice organisations; and more than 80 UK-based BAME groups.
These concerns are not merely academic; they have unfortunately been substantiated by many examples across the globe.
The right of Palestinians to accurately describe their experiences of dispossession and oppression, to criticise the nature and structure of the state that continues to oppress them and to openly criticise the ideology of Zionism which informs the actions, policies and laws of that state, is a core right, protected under numerous international laws and conventions, including Article 10 of the European Convention for Human Rights.
Likewise we affirm the rights of all students, alongside all UK citizens, to study and disseminate information around the constitutional order and structure of the State of Israel, as well as to stand in solidarity with Palestinians facing continued dispossession and oppression, including through advocacy for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the State of Israel until it complies with international law. As recently upheld by the European Court for Human Rights, advocating for boycott is a protected right under Article 10.
Attempts to suppress our right to bring information about Palestinian history into the public domain violate our right to free expression, and serve to render Palestinians invisible as a people. These attempts also contradict our academic freedom to learn, discuss, question and test received wisdom.
We call on UK Universities to unequivocally protect our right to describe the facts of Palestinian oppression, to describe Israel’s laws, policies and actions as racist or as constituting apartheid; to criticise the political ideology of Zionism and to call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel as nonviolent measures of accountability to bring about its compliance with its obligations under international law and its respect for Palestinian rights.
If you are a UK student, and would like to add your name to the letter, you can do so here
Americans for Peace Now Refuses to Adopt ‘Weaponized’ Definition of Antisemitism
Americans for Peace Now, a Jewish non-profit organisation, whose stated aim is to help find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is refusing a request from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism on the grounds that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition is ‘already being abused to quash legitimate criticism and activism directed at Israeli government policies’
See here * for further details
*Haaretz is currently offering a promotion which gives a first months subscription for just $1
The University of Cambridge Adopts the IHRA Definition
On November 4th, the General Board of the University agreed to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition on antisemitism in full, with clarifications recommended by the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2016.
OTHER NEWS News from PACBI Monday , Dec 7th A November 2020 report from Scholarsatrisk (Scholars at Risk Academic Freedom Monitoring Project) documents Israel’s systematic targeting of Palestinian academia via: ▪️ House raids and detention without trial or charge of scholars & students ▪️ Movement/travel restrictions and visa denials ▪️ Barring imports of equipment & books
For more information, go to (
Israel lobby spreads more lies about Palestine groups at New York University
From the Electronic Intifada, 23 October 2020
New York University has agreed to settle with the US Department of Education over allegations that the university had not appropriately responded to claims of anti-Semitism.
Two attorneys filed the complaint last year on behalf of a student who alleged that she faced “two years of extreme anti-Semitism on the NYU campus which has created an intolerable and unlawful hostile atmosphere for Jewish students.”
Echoing previous attempts by Israel advocates to silence Palestinian rights activists on campuses, the complaint accused Students for Justice in Palestine of creating the “hostile” climate due to the group’s criticism of Israel and its state ideology Zionism. But in the end, Israel lobby groups seeking censorship and punishment of Palestinian rights advocates barely got what they came for. The university has committed to tackling bigotry against Jews – but, notably, it has not explicitly conceded any undertaking to prevent criticism of Israel.
Read the full article here
Steven H. Miles, The Torture Doctors: Human Rights Crimes and the Road to Justice (Georgetown University Press 2020), ISBN 9781626167520, 224 pages.
Reprinted from the Human Rights Quarterly
Derek Summerfield
During the Middle Ages in Europe torture drew a distinction from its association with confessed truth, repentance, and salvation, yet by 1874 Victor Hugo could write that “torture has ceased to exist.” This magisterial book reminds us how much torture has outlived its obituarists, noting in the Preface that the US Office of Refugee Resettlement estimates that 500,000 torture survivors live in the United States alone. It would seem astonishing to the average citizen that a practice so noxious, the ostensible province of the barbarian—the very antithesis of the professed values and public reputation of the medical profession—should have so intimately involved doctors in so many countries, not least in Western democracies. Steven Miles sets out to exhaustively document and interrogate this role, a vital ethical task.
He starts with examples—from Haiti, Malawi, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ivory Coast, Bosnia, Rwanda—where the torturers-in-chief were
physicians themselves—before going on to the Nazi doctors and their trial at Nuremburg in 1946–1947. He describes a striking aftermath—the election in 1992 of Dr. Hans Sewering of Germany to the Presidency of the World Medical Association (WMA). The WMA had been specifically created after World War II as the official watchdog of the ethical behaviour of doctors worldwide. During the war Dr. Sewering had been in the SS, the Nazi organization most responsible for genocidal killings, and had dispatched over 900 disabled children to their deaths. It is telling—touching on the core question of impunity running through the whole book—that after the war Dr. Sewering experienced no challenge to his career and rose to be president of the German Medical Association. However, the WMA Presidency was exposed as a step too far and Sewering was forced to stand down. But in 2008, fifteen years later, he was awarded Germany’s highest medical honor. His obituary did not mention his Nazi past.
The WMA’s Declaration of Tokyo is the seminal anti-torture text for doctors. This makes it clear that the ethical duties of a doctor go well beyond not directly participating, or not being in the room where the torture is taking place. Whenever he encounters or thinks he encounters torture the doctor has a duty to protest, speak out, and protect the detainee. If he is a working member of a unit whose methods during interrogation include torture, he is in what Amnesty International has called “institutional complicity” with such practices, and this cannot be fudged.
Why do doctors collude with torture? The medical advisor in the Nazi doctors’ trial concluded that a morally lazy careerism lay at the core of most physicians guilty in this way. I think it is much deeper than that, touching on matters of personal identity. In a famous lecture on “Politics as a Vocation,” the sociologist Max Weber distinguished between an “ethic of responsibility” and an “ethic of conviction.” (1) By “ethic of responsibility,” Weber meant conformity to professional standards and accountability. In our profession this means the ethical standards by which doctors should practice, including a commitment to factual evidence— standards determined by peer opinion, by patients and public, employers, and the licensing authority. By “ethic of conviction,” Weber was identifying actions that were inspired by personally valued ideals, political or other philosophies, or identities. In my thirty-five years of anti-torture human rights work, and with an emphasis on the collusion of doctors, I have witnessed how regularly, in doctors, an ethic of conviction trumped an ethic of responsibility, even in matters of grave human rights abuse.
I will give two personal examples. First, in the early 1990s when I was principal psychiatrist at the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture in London, we documented in the medical journal, The Lancet, accounts of the torture of Turkish Kurds (a persecuted people in that country) given to us directly after they had sought asylum in the UK. This prompted a number of Turkish doctors to publish protesting letters in The Lancet. One began memorably:” No state tortures its citizens unless it has to.” Second, in 1999 Professor Eran Dolev, then Head of Ethics of the Israeli Medical Association, told a visiting delegation from the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture interviewing him that “what’s a couple of broken fingers?” in the interrogation of a Palestinian detainee for the information this could yield. (2) It seems to me that Professor Dolev and the Turkish doctor were both expressing Weber’s ethics of conviction, that doctors were doctors but also citizens, and here saw patriotism and loyalty to the state as the higher value and what was expected of them.
Moreover, Dolev was Head of Ethics, no less: what kind of ethical leadership had he been offering, for example, to the Israeli physician implicated in the Nader Qumsieh case in 1993, documented by Amnesty International?(3) Five days after his arrest, Qumsieh was brought to a medical center in Be’er Sheva, where a urologist diagnosed a torn scrotum and bleeding. Qumsieh testified that he had been beaten during interrogation and kicked in the testicles. The urologist later received a call from the Israeli military, and as a result wrote a second report which he antedated by two days, without further examination of the patient. In it he recorded that “according to the patient, he fell downstairs two days before he came to the emergency room.” This time his medical findings were recorded as: “superficial haematoma in the scrotal area, which corresponds to local bruises sustained between 2 and 5 days prior to the examination.”(3) The urologist’s original report disappeared from Qumsieh’s medical file.
These issues, sometimes referred to as the “dual loyalty” question, come through strongly in Miles’s account of United States health professionals like Larry James and James Mitchell in defence of their active roles at the heart of the “enhanced interrogation” program in the United States post-9/11. These professionals knew what they were doing, and were doing it willingly, unthreatened and uncoerced. There is a significant distinction to be drawn here: in many highly repressive states, protesting or refusing to cooperate is dangerous, and silence a survival strategy. In the 1990s in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the director of the Al-Basra military hospital and a doctor at Saddam Hospital in Nasiriyah were both executed for refusing to carry out punitive amputations ordered by the authorities for those caught evading the draft or for other offenses.
In drawing a global map of torture doctors, Miles describes physician complicity as a “pandemic.” Doctors monitor torture, fail to record injuries, and write medical reports which do not record torture, or attribute injuries to an innocent cause, as in the Qumsieh case above. Miles writes that it is reasonable to estimate that torture doctors ply their trade in more than 100 countries. Taking the specific example of the UK, he describes a troubled history regarding medically supervised flogging during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. His view that the UK and the British Medical Association have been reticent on the matter of holding torture doctors accountable is one I would entirely endorse. In 1976 the European Commission of Human Rights ruled that the UK was using techniques on prisoners in Northern Ireland that constituted “inhuman and degrading treatment” and “torture.” In 2014 two authoritative organizations—the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights, and Public Interest Lawyers—detailed a total of fifty-eight allegations of UK doctors’ involvement in the torture of Iraqi prisoners between 2003 and 2008. In one case, from the Al Shaibah Detention Centre, the victim related that he told the doctor about the beatings he had suffered but the doctor made no comment. He told me he thought I had a stomach ulcer. He said this without examining me. . . . I told him that I had never had anything wrong with my stomach before, until the soldier had smashed me in it with the hammer. . . . My t-shirt and shorts were covered in blood from the beatings to my face and in particular my nose. The doctor could clearly see this and didn’t ask me about it. I told him about the injury I had received to my nose and that I thought it was broken because it was so swollen but he didn’t do or say anything.
In only one Iraqi case has a UK military doctor, Derek Keilloh, been brought to account, being eventually struck off the medical register. Miles comments that “the penalty against Keilloh appears to be unique in the long history of British complicity with torture.” This was in the case of the torture-murder of Baha Mousa, a hotel receptionist, in Basra in 2003. His head was covered by a bag for twenty-four hours and a group of soldiers beat and kicked him. He died of asphyxia with at least ninety-three injuries evident all over his body. Dr. Keilloh (who had unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate Mousa) did not report his bodily injuries.
Miles ends the book with an extended account of what is the nub of the matter: accountability, and its flipside, impunity. We may wonder why only one case was brought against a UK doctor in relation to the war in Iraq when there was evidence against as many as fifty-eight. Why were the British Medical Association and the General Medical Council so silent, and initiated no proactive work to investigate credible allegations about the conduct of member doctors? In the US we witness the refusal of the American Psychological Association (APA) to respond to cast-iron evidence of complicity in torture by one of their members. By way of deeper implication, Miles tells us that in 2005 the APA was in covert collaboration with military intelligence officials specifically to create a cover for psychologists in the program, in effect licensing them to do what they had to do. Are national medical associations proactive in any country in relation to opposing state torture, and in ensuring their member doctors behave ethically in terms of the WMA Declaration of Tokyo? To pluck another example from the book, one survey found that three quarters of India’s physicians had seen a tortured person and one seventh had witnessed torture. What role is the Indian Medical Association playing in its silence and inactivity regarding such matters? It is hard not to conclude that national medical associations, and comparable bodies like the APA, function at base as buttresses and shields of the state and its policies. The effect of this, explicit or implicit, is to impart legitimacy
and support for what is being done, and to those who do it to hint that in the world of realpolitik medical ethical codes are largely window dressing. What this then instills is a sense of impunity, so vividly illustrated in the case material in the book.
Beyond national medical associations lies the WMA. The WMA calls itself an “independent confederation” of currently 111 national medical associations. Some associations claim that their WMA membership is of itself evidence of their ethical probity. But in practice, does the WMA provide real leadership regarding doctors and torture, part of its core mandate as I noted earlier? Is it proactive and even-handed in investigating incriminating evidence from credible human rights sources? To these questions I offer my own experience as convener of a campaign regarding the well documented complicity of Israeli doctors with torture in interrogation units, shielded by the Israeli Medical Association (IMA). The IMA is a member of the WMA. In 2009, 725 physicians from forty-three countries made a joint submission to the WMA, attaching a dense evidence base—from Amnesty and other international NGOs, but chiefly comprising detailed case studies (some with the involved doctors’ names) compiled by the well-respected Israeli NGOs Physicians for Human Rights Israel and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel. (4)(5)(6)) The result? No acknowledgement, even of receipt of the dossier, and only later we heard indirectly from WMA Council Chair, Dr. Edward Hill, that the WMA would definitely not respond to the material. But there was a response of a different kind, a libel lawsuit initiated in London against me personally as convener by the WMA President himself (Dr. Yoram Blachar). At the time Dr. Blachar was also the IMA President, as he had been in 1997 when he defended Israeli practices in a letter to the Lancet. He wrote that “the guidelines on interrogation recommend only that ‘moderate physical pressure’ be sanctioned. Even this is restricted to cases defined in terms of a ‘ticking bomb.’”(7) Yet in 1994 the UN Committee Against Torture had reiterated that “moderate physical pressure” was indeed torture, and also outlawed the “ticking bomb” justification. Here we witness the president of a national medical association defending torture in the pages of a famous medical journal. Our subsequent submissions spanned the terms of office of two further WMA presidents, but with the same result. The WMA is in violation of its own mandate, which is to ensure that its member associations adhere to its codes, but it seems it will not act when the case is Israel, nor I suggest if it was the UK or other influential Western states.(8)
Miles says that the WMA and others should craft and endorse procedural guidelines to help medical licensing boards convene and conduct hearings. This is right, but assumes a shared probity and a process free from political pressures—on the evidence in his book, it is very unlikely. And there is one bullet Miles doesn’t bite on regarding the WMA: the WMA is composed of national medical associations, so what happens when one of those is the principal accused party? And how free is the WMA of political influences? From our experience, the WMA is hollowed out and does not fulfill the ethical purposes for which it was created. (9) Overall, the evidence suggests that there is no effective supervision of the ethical behaviour of doctors worldwide, nor much political momentum to rectify the situation. Perhaps there never was. As Miles says, “a complete lack of accountability is the norm.” This is a mournful note to conclude on, but The Torture Doctors is a work of great scholarship, an essential piece of documentation and likely to be a seminal work.
1. Max Weber, Politics as a Vocation (1965)
2. Bamber H, Gordon E, Heilbronn R, Forrest D. ‘Attitudes to torture’, Journal of Royal Society of Medicine 2002;95:271-2
4. “Ticking Bombs”. Public Committee Against Torture in Israel/ Physicians for Human Rights Israel. 2007. http:www.
5. Doctoring the Evidence, Abandoning the Victim: the Involvement of Medical Professionals in Torture and Ill-treatment in Israel. Public Committee Against Torture in Israel/ Physicians for Human Rights-Israel. 2011.
6. Adameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Adameer collects hard evidence on
torture and ill-treatment committed against Palestinian detainees. 2019.
7. Blachar Y. ‘The truth about Israeli medical ethics’, Lancet 1997;350:1247
8. Summerfield D. ‘The WMA speaks out on Iran but not on Israel. Why not?’
BMJ 2009;339:b4635
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Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism


 Issued on: December 11, 2019

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Policy.  My Administration is committed to combating the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incidents in the United States and around the world.  Anti-Semitic incidents have increased since 2013, and students, in particular, continue to face anti Semitic harassment in schools and on university and college campuses.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.  While Title VI does not cover discrimination based on religion, individuals who face discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin do not lose protection under Title VI for also being a member of a group that shares common religious practices.  Discrimination against Jews may give rise to a Title VI violation when the discrimination is based on an individual’s race, color, or national origin.

It shall be the policy of the executive branch to enforce Title VI against prohibited forms of discrimination rooted in anti-Semitism as vigorously as against all other forms of discrimination prohibited by Title VI.

Sec. 2.  Ensuring Robust Enforcement of Title VI.  (a)  In enforcing Title VI, and identifying evidence of discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, all executive departments and agencies (agencies) charged with enforcing Title VI shall consider the following:

(i)   the non-legally binding working definition of anti Semitism adopted on May 26, 2016, by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which states, “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.  Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities”; and

(ii)  the “Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism” identified by the IHRA, to the extent that any examples might be useful as evidence of discriminatory intent.

(b)  In considering the materials described in subsections (a)(i) and (a)(ii) of this section, agencies shall not diminish or infringe upon any right protected under Federal law or under the First Amendment.  As with all other Title VI complaints, the inquiry into whether a particular act constitutes discrimination prohibited by Title VI will require a detailed analysis of the allegations.

Sec. 3.  Additional Authorities Prohibiting Anti-Semitic Discrimination.  Within 120 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency charged with enforcing Title VI shall submit a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, identifying additional nondiscrimination authorities within its enforcement authority with respect to which the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism could be considered.

Sec. 4.  Rule of Construction.  Nothing in this order shall be construed to alter the evidentiary requirements pursuant to which an agency makes a determination that conduct, including harassment, amounts to actionable discrimination, or to diminish or infringe upon the rights protected under any other provision of law.

Sec. 5.  General Provisions.   (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


December 11, 2019.


Many American Jews are worried Trump’s executive order on anti-Semitism would do more harm than good

Rosie Perper Dec 12, 2019, 4:41 AM
The annual national Hanukkah menorah-lighting ceremony on the White House Ellipse in December 2010. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday with the goal of combatting anti-Semitism on college campus.
Three administration officials told The New York Times that the order would threaten to withhold federal funding for colleges and universities that fail to combat discrimination on their campuses.
Critics of the executive order included many Jewish people, who took umbrage with the order for several reasons.
On Wednesday, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, published an op-ed in The New York Times about the executive order, which was signed by Trump.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday with the goal of combatting anti-Semitism on college campus.

However, The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing three administration officials, that the executive order would classify Judaism as a race or nationality instead of just a religion — setting off a firestorm.

According to The Times’ report, the order would threaten to withhold federal funding for colleges or universities that fail to combat discrimination of minority students on their campuses.

The Times described the logic of the order this way:

“Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the department can withhold funding from any college or educational program that discriminates ‘on the ground of race, color, or national origin.’ Religion was not included among the protected categories, so Mr. Trump’s order will have the effect of embracing an argument that Jews are a people or a race with a collective national origin in the Middle East, like Italian Americans or Polish Americans.”

The move appears to be targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which encourages various forms of boycott against Israel for what it deems violations of international law. The group, which has become popular on college campuses, holds annual events like “Israeli Apartheid Week” to push for Palestinian rights.

Though not all Jews are Israeli citizens and not all Israeli citizens are Jewish, some Jewish groups argue that BDS activism fosters harassment or intimidation of Jews and Israel supporters on campus.

Some critics suggested that Trump might use the order to pander to Jewish constituents or as a goodwill gesture toward Israel, a close ally, as the country’s government tries to combat anti-Semitism and the BDS movement around the world. Others worried about the broadened definition of anti-Semitism would infringe on free speech.

Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, told The Times that the move would “silence Palestinian rights activism.”

“Many Israeli apartheid apologists, Trump included, are looking to silence a debate they know they can’t win,” Munayyer said.

On Wednesday, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, published an op-ed in The New York Times clarifying the executive order.

“When news of the impending executive order leaked, many rushed to criticize it without understanding its purpose. The executive order does not define Jews as a nationality. It merely says that to the extent that Jews are discriminated against for ethnic, racial or national characteristics, they are entitled to protection by the anti-discrimination law.”

But notably, the group most vocally against the measure reported in The Times appears to be Jewish people themselves

Halie Soifer, the executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said on Tuesday that Trump’s executive order represented “the height of hypocrisy.”

“If President Trump truly wanted to address the scourge of anti-Semitism he helped to create, he would accept responsibility for his role emboldening white nationalism, perpetuating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and repeating stereotypes that have led to violence targeting Jews,” she said in a statement. “Instead, President Trump continues to view Israel and anti-Semitism solely through a political lens, which he attempts to use to his political advantage.”

She added: “President Trump is more interested in symbolic gestures that politicize Israel and use Jews as political pawns than actually doing something meaningful to ensure our security and that of Israel. The timing of this signing reveals this is a PR stunt, plain and simple.”

Others, including Jews, expressed similar outrage on social media.

The actress and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Michaela Watkins said on Twitter that Trump’s reclassification of Judaism mirrored sentiments used by white nationalists and Nazi Germany.

“This is antisemitism of the highest order,” she said.

—Michaela Watkins (@michaelaWat) December 11, 2019

Some said the order appeared to question whether Jews are really American.

Kelly Weill, a journalist for The Daily Beast, tweeted that it “gestures at ethno-nationalizing American Jews right out of their country.”

Leah Litman, an assistant professor of law at the University of Michigan, tweeted that the order questioned the nationality of American Jews.

“Is this what we’re calling an executive order that purports to define american jews as … some nationality other than american?” Litman said.

—Michael Weiss (@michaeldweiss) December 11, 2019

Other people on social media said the move would put them in danger of anti-Semitic backlash.

—danielle weisberg (@danielleweisber) December 11, 2019

—IfNotNow🔥 (@IfNotNowOrg) December 11, 2019

Still others on social media, including Jews and non-Jews, said the order itself was anti-Semitic.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Violent anti-Semitic attacks have spiked to levels unseen in decades. Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel said in May that attacks targeting Jews worldwide rose by 13% in 2018, to nearly 400 cases. About one in four took place in the US.

The Anti-Defamation League said it found 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents reported throughout the US in 2018.

Responding to Readers Arguments Concerning the UCLA Nazarian Center


Editorial Note 

Two weeks ago, IAM reported that the “UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies Becomes an anti-Israel Platform,” which has met with a barrage of responses from our readers. 

One reader suggested that IAM is calling for the boycott of Israeli academics by opposing the invitation to radical political academic-activists.   Other readers suggested that IAM “attacked” the Nazarian Center. But both arguments are not correct. IAM sees the Nazarian Center as an important tool to advance the field of Israel studies. IAM keeps an eye to make sure that the mission of teaching Israel studies is met. 

The Nazarian Center mission states that “Our goal is education—to advance knowledge and academic scholarship about Israel.”  However, a perusal of the Center’s activities, the books it selects for review and invited scholars and speakers indicate a gap between the declaration and reality.   This should come as no surprise as UCLA has a long history of anti-Israel activism and has been denounced for its “Zionophobia” and anti-Semitism. 

One reader wrote to say that the speakers who participate in the colloquium should be treated as critical of Israeli policies and not anti-Israel.  IAM has never objected to criticism of Israel as part of academic discourse. However, a balanced debate requires at least a similar number of speakers on both sides.  Moreover, some speakers cross the line into BDS advocacy.  

For instance, IAM quoted from an article by Areej Sabbagh-Khoury, who argued that “the 1948 Nakba was neither the beginning nor the end of a process of settler-colonial expropriation.   In another article, Sabbagh-Khoury discussed Israel’s mixed cities of Arabs and Jews, that they “result of Israeli’s policies of settler colonialism” where the “Israeli establishment constantly strives to exclude Palestinians from these cities and to make their continued existence there difficult. In addition, I addressed Israel’s ongoing policy of Judaizing these cities, of exercising its control over them, and its attempts to remove Palestinians from them and erase them from their history. Because these cities have been absent as Palestinian cities from Palestinian ‘official political discourse’ and collective consciousness, since the advent of the Nakba.”  For those not familiar with the neo-Marxist, critical nomenclature, according to the colonial theory which dominates the social sciences, the Jews were colonial settlers with no right to the land, who dispossessed and expelled the native population, the Palestinians. They created an apartheid state that keeps them subjugated.  Thus, like in South Africa, the BDS is a necessary tool to roll back Israel’s colonial possession.  This type of scholarship advocates that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state. Negating this right is considered anti-Semitic by the worldly accepted IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

Other colloquium speakers preach similar ideas. IAM reported that Ameer Fakhoury wrote of a “new partnership of Arabs and Jews, working side-by-side to combat Jewish supremacism.”  He also co-authored an article, “How the Jewish Left and Palestinian Arabs Can Remake Israeli Politics,” declaring that “A political alliance between Israel’s left wing and Arab parties could topple Benjamin Netanyahu.” Worth noting that Fakhoury is described as “a political activist, a lawyer and the Director of Wahat al-Salam / Neve Shalom’s School for Peace.”

And then there is Dov Waxman, the head of the Nazarian Center.  IAM mentioned that in 2011, Waxman co-authored an article “The Boycott Debate: No Longer Taboo in Progressive Pro-Israel Circles.”  The article stated that a growing number of American Jews on the left are beginning to “reconsider and revise” their position on BDS, and “they are for the first time giving it serious consideration and debating it merits.” Arguably, “debating the merits” is a polite academic jargon to legitimize BDS. Waxman and his co-author stated that “A more focused and limited boycott of products made in West Bank settlements has many advantages. It combines BDS’ appeal of direct consumer activism with commitment to a two-state solution as the only acceptable outcome to the conflict. It underlines the fact the settlements are not in Israel, and hence that boycotting their products is not the same as boycotting Israeli goods produced inside the Green Line.”  Waxman should be reminded that the 2011 Boycott Law also targets calls to boycott products made by Jews in the West Bank.

In a 2018 article, Waxman has stated: “The age of unquestioning support for Israel from American Jews is over: An era of conflict is replacing the age of solidarity. Within the American Jewish community, there are two major aspects to this divide: ambivalence and anger. On the one hand, there is a process of detachment from Israel, often expressed as indifference and apathy… following 1967, there is a tendency to see the relationship as newly troubled and in terminal decline. It is much more that the infatuation has come to an end; this is now a troubled marriage.” 

In a 2016 interview, Waxman predicted that Donald Trump’s “election would surely be a risk for Israel. His nationalist, isolationist and xenophobic orientation to American foreign policy endangers all US alliances, even that with Israel, and his recklessness, inexperience and ignorance in foreign affairs is bound to unnerve Netanyahu, who is politically conservative and is always seeking to maintain the status quo. I doubt that Netanyahu really wants a Trump presidency.” Waxman’s prophecy has failed.  

Waxman’s co-organizer of the colloquium is David N. Myers, a history professor at UCLA, who published an article in 2015, “Another Way to Think about BDS,” which legitimizes BDS.  He wrote: “we kid ourselves if we don’t recognize that there would be no BDS movement if there were no occupation of the West Bank and ongoing denial of Palestinian national rights. BDS took rise in July 2005, after the collapse of the Second Intifada and the Oslo peace process. Its first declared goal was to end the occupation of the West Bank. Unlike prior Palestinian actions, it is a nonviolent form of protest against the ongoing denial of self-determination to the Palestinian people.”   

More consequentially, Myers currently serves as the board president of the New Israel Fund (NIF).  The NIF funds several controversial groups, including B’Tselem which presents itself as a human rights group.  Recently, B’Tselem declared that Israel is an apartheid state, prompting media outlets in the West to repeat the charge.

The Nazarian Center should decide whether it aims to promote the study of Israel or serve as an incubator for radical polemicists who urge to “topple Benjamin Netanyahu,” or push for an American Israeli divide in “a process of detachment from Israel,” while seeing “the relationship as newly troubled and in terminal decline,” as Waxman configured.

The above quotations clearly show that the Nazarian Center is not a neutral and detached observer as its mission statement promises. Israel is a complex society with a dynamic foreign policy within the fast-changing Middle East.  As the Abraham Accords demonstrate, Israel is the nucleus of a new geostrategic alliance of the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Morocco, which would confront Iran’s hegemonic drive in the region. The Abraham Accords represent a paradigm change for Israel and its allies that may eventually lead to a more creative solution to the Palestinian problem.

IAM advises the Nazarian Center that under the spell of NIF it is steeped in the old paradigm of Palestinian grievances. Hopefully, it would soon address all these issues. IAM is here to help. in Israel: Past, Present and Future
A research colloquium organized by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and co-sponsored by The Sady and Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish History at UCLA.
The colloquium will bring together an invited group of scholars from diverse disciplines – History, Law, Political Science, Sociology, and Philosophy – to present and discuss critical topics of democracy in Israel. The final papers resulting from the research meetings are to be published in an edited volume.
Colloquium Moderators:
Dov Waxman ( and David Myers (
Liron Lavi (
Presented remotely via Zoom

January 14, 2021 – 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Presenting Scholars:
1. Areej Sabbagh-Khoury, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
2. Dmitry Shumsky, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew University ofJerusalem.
3. Alexander Kaye, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University.
Liora Halperin, Department of History, University of Washington.

March 11, 2021 – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM (Pacific Time)
Presenting Scholars:
1. Dani Filc, Department of Politics and Government, Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
2. Amal Jamal, School of Political Science, Tel Aviv University.
3. Dahlia Scheindlin, The Century Foundation.
Gershon Shafir, Department of Sociology, University of California San Diego.

May 13, 2021 – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM (Pacific Time)
Presenting Scholars:
1. Julie Cooper, School of Political Science, Tel Aviv University.
2. Ameer Fakhoury, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa.
3. Menachem Mautner, The Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University.
Suzanne Stone, Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization.

For questions on the closed colloquium, contact Liron Lavi: (

TweetDov Waxman@DovWaxman·Apr 1, 2016I don’t support BDS, but it’s not necessarily anti-Semitic to do so.


The Growing Gap Between Israel And American Jews September 13, 2018 BY MOMENT

Symposium Editor: Marilyn Cooper
Interviews by: Sarah Breger, Marilyn Cooper, George E. Johnson, Sala Levin and Ellen Wexler

Dov Waxman

The age of unquestioning support for Israel from American Jews is over: An era of conflict is replacing the age of solidarity. Within the American Jewish community, there are two major aspects to this divide: ambivalence and anger. On the one hand, there is a process of detachment from Israel, often expressed as indifference and apathy. But the majority of American Jews, about 70 percent, remains emotionally attached to Israel. Within that group there is growing debate and argument about Israel, particularly about Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. There is a mounting sense of frustration, and many are alarmed by the direction the Israeli government is heading. Ultimately, there is a risk that U.S. Jews might become completely alienated from Israel.

This is not simply a divide between Israel and American Jews; increasing divides exist throughout the American Jewish community and deep splits exist within the Israeli Jewish community. That said, there is a growing sense that Israeli and American Jewry are two separate communities moving in opposite directions. Since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the second intifada (2000-2005), Israeli Jews and Israeli politics have moved to the right. American Jews, for the most part, remain firmly in the liberal camp. There is not, however, a divide between Israel and American Orthodox Jews, who remain very attached to Israel and are supportive of the Netanyahu government.

There is an ahistorical attitude that looks at the honeymoon period after 1967 as the norm. However, the American Jewish relationship with Israel has always been in flux, and it has not always, or even often, been characterized by strong, unequivocal support for Israel. Before Israel’s establishment, Zionism struggled to obtain support from American Jews. Even in the 1950s, Israel wasn’t that dominant in American Jewish life. Because most American Jews today are no longer in love with Israel in the way that they were during the period following 1967, there is a tendency to see the relationship as newly troubled and in terminal decline. It is much more that the infatuation has come to an end; this is now a troubled marriage.

Dov Waxman is a professor of political science, international affairs and Israel studies at Northeastern University. His most recent book is Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel.


Dov Waxman: “Israel Is Becoming A Divisive Issue In American Politics”


by Mitchell Plitnick

1. FOUNDATION FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE: In your latest book, you explore a growing divide in the American Jewish community over Israel. In the current presidential election, Israel has been at issue a number of times: Donald Trump’s AIPAC speech, Bernie Sanders stating his support for Palestinian rights in a speech in Brooklyn, the Democrats refusing to use the word “occupation” in their platform while the Republicans’ platform explicitly states that Israel is not an occupying power. How do you see these issues playing out in the Jewish community, in the context of your view of this growing divide?

DOV WAXMAN: Although Israel often comes up as an issue in American presidential election campaigns (unlike most foreign policy issues which are generally given scant attention), what makes this election campaign unusual, and highly significant, is the divisive way in which Israel has been discussed and debated. Unlike in previous elections when candidates simply spouted bromides about the US-Israel relationship and competed over who was the most pro-Israel, in this election we have heard a broader range of views about Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians, including some unprecedented criticism of Israel during a nationally televised primary debate (Bernie Sanders’ denunciation of Israel’s “disproportionate” response to Palestinian rockets attacks in the 2014 Gaza War during a CNN Democratic debate with Hillary Clinton).

Political disagreements over Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—both within the Democratic and Republican parties and between them—have been on prominent display, clearly indicating that Israel is becoming a divisive issue in American politics. Although there is still strong support for Israel, there is growing disagreement over Israel’s policies (most notably, its continued settlement building in the West Bank), over its treatment of the Palestinians, and over how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Surveys show that Democrats, especially liberal democrats, have become more critical of Israel and more sympathetic towards the Palestinians, while Republican support for Israel has become emphatic and absolute (to the point that the Republican Party platform now explicitly rejects calling Israel an “occupier” of the West Bank, despite its almost 50-year military rule over that area). The bipartisan pro-Israel consensus that has long reigned in American politics is, therefore, eroding, just as the pro-Israel consensus within the American Jewish community is also eroding—as I describe in my book, Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel. What’s happening in American politics today mirrors what’s been happening in American Jewish politics for some time—criticism of Israel is going mainstream and divisions over Israel are deepening.

None of this, however, is going to affect how American Jews will vote in November—the vast majority of them will vote for Hillary Clinton. They will do so for the same reasons they always vote overwhelmingly for Democratic presidential candidates, and also because Donald Trump’s derogatory and inflammatory statements on the campaign trail (against Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, and women) are deeply offensive to the liberal, universalistic values of most American Jews. Ultimately, neither party’s stance on Israel will have any impact on how most American Jews will vote because Israel is not what matters to most American Jewish voters (in surveys, it is ranked well below others issues). The main exceptions to this are Orthodox Jews (about 10% of American Jews), who are much more politically conservative than non-Orthodox Jews, so most of them will likely vote for Trump. If and when non-Orthodox Jews vote for Clinton and Orthodox Jews vote for Trump it will highlight the growing political and cultural divide between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews, a divide that drives much of the current American Jewish conflict over Israel.

2. FMEP: In recent years, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been more open about his relationship to the Republican Party. But the 2016 election has been a tumultuous one for the GOP, to say the least. How do you see this affecting Netanyahu’s relationship, and that of Israel more broadly, to both the Democrats and the Republicans?

DW: In the last presidential election in 2012, Netanyahu almost openly supported Mitt Romney, raising suspicions that there was an alliance between him and the Republican Party, both of whom are backed by the billionaire casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson. Netanyahu’s controversial speech to Congress in March 2015, at the invitation of then GOP House Leader John Boehner, confirmed these suspicions. Netanyahu seemed to be publicly aligning himself with the Republican Party, probably because he believes that Democrats cannot be counted upon to support Israel’s indefinite occupation of the West Bank. This alliance now appears to be threatened by Trump’s takeover of the GOP.

Although Trump was quick to abandon his initial promise to be “neutral” when negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and has since championed his stalwart support for Israel, his election would surely be a risk for Israel. His nationalist, isolationist and xenophobic orientation to American foreign policy endangers all US alliances, even that with Israel, and his recklessness, inexperience and ignorance in foreign affairs is bound to unnerve Netanyahu, who is politically conservative and is always seeking to maintain the status quo. I doubt that Netanyahu really wants a Trump presidency.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is someone that Netanyahu knows well, and he will probably get along much better with her than he has with President Obama. Whereas Obama’s presidency strengthened the Likud-Republican alliance, therefore, a Clinton presidency will likely weaken it, especially if the GOP loses one or both Houses of Congress as well. More broadly, a Clinton victory and a GOP implosion—both of which now look likely—would prove to most Israelis the importance of maintaining bipartisan American support for Israel, which has been jeopardized by Netanyahu’s embrace of the GOP (among other factors).

In the longer term, however, I think that Israel’s relationship with the Democratic Party will become increasingly strained if Israel continues to occupy the West Bank and deny rights to millions of Palestinians. The base of the Democratic Party is strongly opposed to the Occupation, even if the party’s platform refuses to acknowledge it. The longer the Occupation goes on, the harder it will become for Democratic policy-makers to ignore it. Their grassroots supporters will demand that they apply some kind of pressure on Israel to end the Occupation. This puts the Democratic Party on a long-term collision course with Israel, although whether this collision will eventually occur obviously depends on what happens in Israel as well.

3. FMEP: The Obama Administration has, if nothing else, been more open than prior administrations to the messages of domestic peace groups like J Street, Americans for Peace Now, the Foundation for Middle East Peace and other groups that are critical of Israeli policies but firmly supportive of Israel’s security. Many fear that whoever wins this election, the next administration is going to be much less critical of Israeli policies and less committed to Palestinian rights. How do you see the post-Obama terrain for those forces pushing for a just peace and an end to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza?

DW: If elected President, Hillary Clinton will not make attaining a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians a top priority in her foreign policy (which is what Obama did when he first entered office) because the prospects for reaching such an agreement are very slim, and she will have other, more urgent foreign policy challenges to address. Nor is Clinton likely to insist that Israel halt its settlement building. Instead, she will probably try to avoid the conflicts and tensions with Netanyahu that have marred US-Israel relations during the course of the Obama presidency. But, like every president before her, Hillary Clinton will surely find that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be placed on the foreign policy back burner for long. Sooner or later, it forces presidents to deal with it, often after a serious escalation of violence. For this reason, I think that as president, Hillary Clinton, or her foreign secretary, will eventually try to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, with the aim of reaching at least a partial agreement, if not a comprehensive one. When this happens, she will probably turn to groups like J Street to help her rally American Jews to support her Administration’s diplomatic efforts.

Besides the White House, if the Democrats succeed in regaining control of the Senate, or even the House of Representatives, that will undoubtedly help J Street and other left-of-center groups pushing for a more active and assertive US role in trying to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. If Congress becomes less willing to give its unconditional backing to whatever Israel does, then the cost for Israel of its occupation of the West Bank might increase, which in turn may increase the domestic pressure in Israel (currently negligible) to withdraw from at least parts of the West Bank.

One final factor worth noting is that if those Democrats in Congress who supported the nuclear agreement with Iran get re-elected in November it will be a serious blow to AIPAC’s once-fearsome reputation, and a major boost for J Street (which supported the nuclear deal).

4. FMEP: Finally, there seems to be a growing divide among anti-occupation groups, particularly over the tactic of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Many leading BDS activists and groups are Jewish. Is this debate a healthy one for the Jewish community, and how do you see this split on the “Jewish left” playing out going forward?

DW: I think debate is healthy for any community. The problem with the American Jewish community today when it comes to BDS is that there isn’t enough debate about it. In fact, in much of the mainstream Jewish community the debate isn’t even allowed to take place. Supporters of BDS (for the record, I’m not one of them) are actively excluded from the organized Jewish community. Jewish Federations won’t partner with any organization that supports BDS for any kind of activity, Jewish Community Centers won’t host speakers who support BDS, and Hillels on college campuses won’t even allow public discussions about it to take place. But as long as the occupation continues, American Jews opposed to it are bound to consider whatever non-violent means is available to break the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate and end the occupation. Support for BDS is, therefore, likely to grow on the Jewish left, and organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace, which champion BDS, will continue to gain support, especially among young American Jews.

Nevertheless, many Jews on the left will still be put off from supporting the global BDS movement by its insistence on a Palestinian right of return, its strident anti-Zionism, and especially by the anti-Semitism occasionally expressed by some of its supporters.   While they may become more open to some of the tactics of BDS (particularly divestment from companies profiting from the occupation of the West Bank), they will not endorse the movement as a whole. The problem for leftwing and liberal American Jews who are both opposed to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and opposed to BDS is that, as long as the peace process is moribund, there doesn’t appear to be any suitable strategy for ending the occupation. This is why many Jews on the left are currently in a state of despair.

Dov Waxman is Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Israel Studies, and the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies at Northeastern University. He is also the co-director of the university’s Middle East Center. An expert on Israel, his research focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli foreign policy, U.S.-Israel relations, and American Jewry’s relationship with Israel.

Originally from London, England, Professor Waxman received his B.A. degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University. He has also held fellowships and visiting appointments at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, the Middle East Technical University, the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, the Avraham Harman Institute for Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and St. John’s College at the University of Oxford.

Professor Waxman’s most recent book is Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel (Princeton University Press, 2016).

Reprinted, with permission, from the Foundation for Middle East Peace blog.


Mitchell Plitnick is a political analyst and writer. His previous positions include vice president at the Foundation for Middle East Peace, director of the US Office of B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, and co-director of Jewish Voice for Peace. His writing has appeared in Ha’aretz, the New Republic, the Jordan Times, Middle East Report, the San Francisco Chronicle, +972 Magazine, Outlook, and other outlets. He was a columnist for Tikkun Magazine, Zeek Magazine and Souciant. He has spoken all over the country on Middle East politics, and has regularly offered commentary in a wide range of radio and television outlets including PBS News Hour, the O’Reilly Factor, i24 (Israel), Pacifica Radio, CNBC Asia and many other outlets, as well as at his own blog, Rethinking Foreign Policy, at You can find him on Twitter @MJPlitnick.


The Boycott Debate: No Longer Taboo in Progressive Pro-Israel Circles

Waxman/Zon- szein: The Boycott Debate

Dov Waxman and Mairav Zonszein ▪ March 29, 2011

TO BOYCOTT or not to boycott? That is the question that growing numbers of American Jews on the left wing of the pro-Israel community have reluctantly and uneasily begun to ask themselves in recent months. After initially categorically rejecting the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (or BDS, as it has become known)—a movement launched in 2005 by a coalition of Palestinian civil society groups that’s now a global campaign—progressive pro-Israel groups and individuals are now starting to reconsider and revise their position. They are not—at least not yet—embracing BDS, but they are for the first time giving it serious consideration and debating it merits.

The clearest sign yet of this new willingness to discuss what was previously off-limits occurred during a recent conference organized by J Street, the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby group. Holding its second annual conference in the cavernous Washington Convention Center (also the site of the yearly conference of AIPAC, J Street’s much larger and richer rival), J Street included a panel session entitled “Who is Afraid of the BDS?” Among the speakers was Rebecca Vilkomerson, the director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an organization that advocates the boycott of companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and has been labeled by the Anti-Defamation League as one of the top ten anti-Israel groups in the United States. Her inclusion was noteworthy in itself, but what made the panel even more remarkable was the fact that it was conducted in a calm, reasonable manner, free of diatribes and invectives. In other words, it was completely different from the way in which discussions of BDS usually take place in the American-Jewish community. Instead of assailing the legitimacy of BDS in principle, the discussion focused on the efficacy of BDS—can it help promote an end to the Israeli occupation and a two-state solution? The large audience that packed the room (people were even queuing outside to get in) listened calmly and intently and asked the panel earnest questions.

To hold a rational and civil debate on a topic that until now has been hugely inflammatory for American Jews and Israelis is quite an achievement for J Street. Even more commendable is the fact that it took place despite fierce criticism of J Street for including JVP—an organization that is shunned and vilified by the mainstream American-Jewish community— in its program. Contrary to the accusations of its critics, by allowing BDS to be debated at its conference, J Street did not embrace these controversial tactics (it continues to oppose BDS). Rather, J Street has asserted that BDS is a subject that cannot and should not be ignored by the American-Jewish community. By upholding the values of freedom of speech and inclusive dialogue, J Street is insisting that grappling with the pros and cons of BDS does not in itself delegitimize Israel or deem one to be an anti-Zionist. As such, J Street is helping to break the BDS taboo in the American-Jewish community in general and among progressive pro-Israel activists in particular.

THE BDS taboo is only the latest in a long line of Israel-related taboos that have been broken by American Jews. For a long time, negotiating with the Palestinian Liberation Organization and recognizing the right of Palestinian statehood were taboos that only radical left-wing Jewish activists were willing to openly advocate. In 1976, for instance, members of Breira, an organization that called for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, met with representatives of the PLO, considered at the time a terrorist organization. Breira was condemned and ostracized by the organized American-Jewish community and forced to disband in 1977. Despite its brief existence and rapid demise, Breira helped pave the way for other Jewish organizations to promote “land for peace” and to insist that Israel end its occupation.

The erosion of the BDS taboo has come about for several reasons. The first is the widespread disillusionment among American Jews with the “Israel right or wrong” approach propagated by the mainstream Jewish establishment. Peter Beinart’s much-discussed article in the New York Review of Books gave powerful voice to this disillusionment. Beinart urged his American-Jewish contemporaries to openly challenge Israeli policies and actions that conflicted with their own liberal beliefs. A similar call for American-Jewish dissent was issued during the Second Intifada in a collection of essays written by American-Jewish writers and intellectuals entitled Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. In their opening essay, the editors stressed the “centuries-old Jewish traditions of lively dispute and rigorous, unapologetic skeptical inquiry.” These are merely two examples over the past decade of growing public opposition to what is regarded as the attempt by the American-Jewish establishment to stifle open Jewish criticism of Israel and silence those who refuse to toe the mainstream line.

The most significant example of this trend is the establishment of J Street itself, as an alternative to AIPAC and as a political home for Americans Jews who do not question Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, but oppose its occupation of Palestinian territories. J Street has tried to redefine the meaning of being “pro-Israel,” and, at least judging by its growing membership—it now boasts nearly 200,000 members—it has succeeded in doing so. With such a large base of support, J Street cannot simply be written off as a marginal movement among American Jews.

The second reason for the lifting of the BDS taboo is the widening gap between the liberal political views and attitudes of American Jews and increasingly illiberal Israeli policies and rhetoric. The Avigdor Lieberman, Eli Yishai, and Bibi Netanyahu trinity in Israel’s government, which encourages further settlement construction, continues to employ rabbis who call on Israeli Jews not to rent or sell property to Palestinian citizens of Israel, and pushes forward anti-democratic bills (such as the loyalty oath and the investigation into NGOs critical of Israel’s occupation), challenges American-Jewish ideals. There is a growing sentiment in the American-Jewish community that Israel is on a downward spiral that endangers its standing in the international community and threatens its democratic character.

Finally, progressive American Jews are frustrated with the paralysis of the peace process and disappointed with the Obama administration’s failure to advance it. After almost two decades of fitful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, a resolution to the conflict still does not appear to be in sight. If anything, it seems to be receding further into the distant future, if not disappearing altogether. Few once-ardent American-Jewish supporters of the peace process now hold out much hope for it.

Nor do many progressive American Jews believe any longer that President Obama can deliver a peace agreement. The high hopes that President Obama initially raised about his desire and determination to swiftly resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have now been transformed into bitter criticisms of his administration’s inept handling of the conflict and especially its vacillating treatment of Israel—from confronting the Netanyahu government over its settlement building to capitulating to it. Having dropped its demand that Israel end all settlement construction as a condition for negotiations and vetoed a resolution in the UN Security Council that condemned this settlement activity as illegal (which is, after all, the official position of the U.S. government), the Obama administration has so far demonstrated an unwillingness to really pressure the Netanyahu government, especially when Congress opposes such pressure. In fact, the Obama administration has preferred to try to bribe Israel (for example, last September offering it twenty fighter jets worth $3 billion if Israel extended the West Bank settlement freeze for only ninety days), rather than cajole it. But this too has achieved few if any results.

Fading faith in the peace process, in the United States’ ability to act as an honest broker in it, and in Israel’s willingness to compromise in order to make peace (reinforced by the recently leaked “Palestine Papers,” which revealed that major Palestinian concessions were still not enough to satisfy Israeli negotiators) have created a new political space in which once inconceivable ideas are gaining currency. American-Jewish “doves” are considering what other options exist to peacefully end the occupation, bring about a two-state solution, and “save Israel from itself.” For better or for worse, the only option that appears to be available is BDS. These combined tactics promise to gradually raise the economic cost of the occupation for Israel, thereby supposedly making the status quo increasingly intolerable for Israelis.

It is out of a deep sense of anguish and despair that left-wing pro-Israel activists are starting to assess the possibility of BDS as a means of essentially coercing Israel to end its self-defeating, forty-four-year-old occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. While advocates of the global BDS movement praise it as a means of direct, grassroots action and proclaim its nonviolent nature, for most members of the left-wing pro-Israel community these positive attributes do not outweigh the many negative aspects of the BDS campaign. Put simply, BDS is widely regarded as both unfair and unhelpful.

However critical American-Jewish “doves” are of Israeli policies and actions, by and large they do not think it is fair to punish Israeli society as a whole, as BDS seeks to do. Israeli Jews may be politically complacent and apathetic when it comes to the occupation, but for the most part they do not support it—they just don’t believe it can be ended any time soon, at least not without jeopardizing their own security. Most Israelis still favor a two-state solution and a withdrawal to some negotiated version of the 1967 lines, and they are not opposed to a Palestinian state, as long as it doesn’t threaten them. Targeting them with sanctions and boycotting their businesses, therefore, seems fundamentally misplaced and unethical, as it would penalize the innocent along with the guilty.

By appearing to lay the blame for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict exclusively on Israel, BDS is also seen as one-sided by many progressive American Jews. While Israel is by no means blameless, according to this view, neither are the Palestinians, especially Hamas and its supporters. To identify Israel as the aggressor and the sole perpetrator of human rights violations is historically inaccurate and morally simplistic.

Finally, the global BDS movement is believed to be unfair because it singles out Israel for pariah status. Israel is by no means the worst violator of international law and human rights, so why just pick on it? Why not target Sudan, Iran, or any number of other states that repress and brutalize their citizens? Or other countries that occupy the territory of others, such as China in Tibet and Russia in Georgia?

Coupled with these criticisms of BDS as essentially unfair is a more practical assessment of its effectiveness. Most left-wing pro-Israel activists are highly skeptical that BDS will actually work. In fact, they tend to believe that it will be politically counterproductive because it deeply alienates Israelis and feeds into a suspicious and defensive Israeli mentality summed up by the popular Israeli expression, “The whole world is against us.” This only reinforces right-wing Jewish nationalism in Israel and weakens what is left of its peace camp. Even for left-wing American and Israeli Jews, BDS is highly controversial and polarizing. As such, it serves to divide and thus debilitate the one group of people who can steer Israel in a better direction.

Perhaps the single biggest problem that BDS poses for progressive American Jews is that it is widely perceived as being anti-Israel, not just anti-occupation. That is, the BDS movement is seen as aimed at delegitimizing Israel as a Jewish state. Nor is this perception wholly inaccurate. Although the global BDS movement is very broad and diverse, many of the activist groups associated with it openly express hostility to Israel as a Jewish state, and many BDS advocates are “one-staters”—supporters of a single, binational state in Israel/Palestine rather than a two-state solution. More specifically, the BDS movement supports the right of return for Palestinian refugees to Israel proper—something that is a red line for pro-Israel supporters since they see it as tantamount to the destruction of a Jewish state.

The fact that BDS generally fails to make a clear distinction between Israel and the occupied territories is something that troubles American Jews who support Israel but are against the occupation. For them, it is imperative to distinguish between Israel within the Green Line—which is seen as legitimate—and Israeli rule beyond it—which is deemed illegitimate. By blurring this distinction, intentionally or not, BDS makes a resolution of the conflict harder, not easier, to achieve.

WHAT, THEN, are progressive American Jews to do? If the peace process is a waste of time, and BDS is unfair and unhelpful, is there another alternative? Indeed there is: a selective boycott against settlement products, not Israeli products or people in general. This is already being practiced by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and several Israeli peace organizations, such as Gush Shalom and the Coalition of Women for Peace, both of which actively advocate the boycott of settlement products and companies that profit from operating in the West Bank. Left-wing American-Jewish groups like the New Israel Fund and Meretz USA have also recently expressed support for such a boycott.

A boycott of settlement goods is aimed at anything that is produced in the occupied territories, not just goods actually made in Israeli settlements. This includes a wide variety of agricultural produce (such as fruits and flowers) and manufactured goods (such as plastics, textiles, cosmetics, food, and wine) that are made in factories located in large Israeli industrial zones within the occupied territories. While most of these products are purchased locally by Israelis and Palestinians, some are exported abroad (Israeli wine from the West Bank and Golan Heights and skin-care products from the Dead Sea inside the West Bank, for example, have a large international market). Although it would target only a small fraction of the goods Israel exports—an estimated 2 or 3 percent—a boycott of these goods still has an economic impact. In particular, by penalizing Israeli companies now operating in the territories, a boycott of their goods encourages them to relocate their production inside the Green Line, as some have reportedly already done due to the boycott. In practice, however, it can be difficult to boycott only goods produced in the territories, since they are not clearly labeled and companies operating in the territories are permitted to have marketing addresses within Israel. A labeling campaign, such as the one that has been conducted in Europe in recent years, is one remedy for this.

A more focused and limited boycott of products made in West Bank settlements has many advantages. It combines BDS’ appeal of direct consumer activism with commitment to a two-state solution as the only acceptable outcome to the conflict. It underlines the fact the settlements are not in Israel, and hence that boycotting their products is not the same as boycotting Israeli goods produced inside the Green Line. While it will certainly not hit Israeli pockets in the way that across-the-board BDS intends to do, it will not alienate Israelis in the same way either. It also has a much greater chance of gaining broad support among Americans and Europeans, who are unwilling to boycott and sanction Israel as a state.

Whether growing numbers of progressive American Jews support this “third way,” however, depends on their willingness to reject the hard line against all boycotts taken by Israel and much of the American-Jewish establishment. Major American-Jewish organizations frequently depict any boycott, however limited, as being anti-Israel, if not anti-Semitic. The Knesset recently passed the first reading of a bill to impose a hefty fine on Israeli citizens and a ten-year ban on entering the country against foreign nationals who call for or engage in any type of boycott against Israel, including its settlements in the West Bank. But these pressure tactics are unlikely to succeed if Israel continues its settlement activity and the peace process remains all but dead. As long as Israel’s occupation drags on, boycotts of one form or another are bound to grow.

Dov Waxman is an associate professor of political science at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Mairav Zonszein is an Israeli-American journalist based in Jerusalem and a writer and editor at

SOAS Anti-Semitism Probe


Editorial Note

For many years now, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London has tolerated radical elements within, allowing them to take over.

However, last month, after the court has ordered to reimburse tuition fees to a Jewish student who faced an antisemitic atmosphere, and with the adoption of the Working Definition of Antisemitism by the UK government, SOAS is now willing to deal with its problem. 

SOAS published a statement on 29 December 2020, declaring it “is extremely concerned about any allegations of anti-Semitism at our School. Diversity is key to the SOAS mission and we want all our students to feel welcome and supported in their studies. We have a robust student complaints and appeals process, but we cannot comment on any individual student case or the outcomes of any appeal. However, where we have established an independent panel as part of a complaints process, we would of course consider the findings of such a panel thoroughly and take appropriate action.”

SOAS found itself in the spotlight because it adopted the hegemonic neo-Marxist, critical scholarship in its classrooms.  This type of discourse includes many anti-West, anti-Jewish, and anti-Israel elements as hatred sprouts at SOAS for more than two decades. 

For example, SOAS recently enabled Palestinians to call for Israel’s elimination at the SOAS Center for Palestine Studies, in a conference titled “The Palestinian Right of Return: The 72nd Anniversary of UNGA Resolution 194”. For those who are not familiar, the “Right of Return” calls for millions of Palestinians to move to Israel. 

The neo-Marxist, critical scholarship is also embraced by some SOAS staff who are anti-Israel Jewish Israelis. In August 2020, IAM reported that the “SOAS Academic Board Manipulated by Pro-Palestinian Activists” discussing how the Hebrew University program teaching Hebrew to students from SOAS was terminated. Behind this move was Dr. Yair Wallach, the chair of the Jewish Studies at SOAS, and Dr. Tamar Drukker, a Hebrew lector who both succumbed to Palestinian pressure. Wallach tried to conceal his role in the termination, but the Academic Board meetings’ protocols revealed he provided the Board with false information. 

On Saturday, 7 March 2020, several Palestinian activist groups have hosted a workshop at SOAS.  The invitation was worded as a formal SOAS event, adding that “SOAS is a remarkable institution, uniquely combining language, disciplinary expertise and regional focus. We are distinctively positioned to analyze some of the most challenging issues facing the world today.” And it was “a student only event.” The invitation also stated that the workshop was designed to provide university-level students with knowledge on how to deal with the challenges facing student advocacy for Palestine and offer suggestions to overcome them. The workshop comes at one of the “most challenging times for advocacy on Palestine with repeated assaults on the BDS movement, the conflation of anti-semitism with criticism of Israeli governmental policy, the designation of NGOs working for Palestine on the government’s anti-extremism guide, and a number of attempted character assassinations against those prominent in student politics for Palestine.” Session one offered effective advocacy strategies for pro-Palestine activists.  Session two discussed BDS and looked at “why the BDS movement is an important and effective strategy for Palestinian rights campaigns. It also concentrates on different BDS strategies and tactics that can work effectively on campus.” Session Three was about anti-Semitism and looked “at the ‘new anti-semitism’ and how it has affected Palestine advocacy at large.”

Clearly, this conference was not much about Palestinian advocacy but rather about anti-Israel advocacy.

In 2015, “University of London SOAS favors academic boycott of Israel,” announcing that students and staff at SOAS voted for an academic boycott of Israel during a week-long referendum. 

As mentioned before, SOAS often embraces Israeli Jews who defame Israel. For example, a 2013 Ph.D. thesis, submitted by Elian Weizman (who obtained a position as a faculty member at SOAS) in Politics and International Studies, was titled “Hegemony, Law, Resistance: Struggles Against Zionism in the State of Israel.” She wrote: “In their struggles against Zionism, Israeli citizens, both Palestinians and Jews, paradoxically seek to challenge through the law the very laws that institutionalize the hegemony of the state’s ideology.” Weizman focused on “resisting Zionism,” and found people who utilized the law in their struggle to “overturn Zionism.” She examined “the different strategies of resistance to Zionism,” by like-minded Israelis.

As early as 2004, SOAS has held an international conference, “Resisting Israeli Apartheid: Strategies and Principles,” by the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign, orchestrated by Betty Hunter, the general secretary of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, UK. In her talk, she discussed how “our campaign to isolate Israeli apartheid. Boycott and sanctions campaigning must be a priority for all our solidarity work.” Furthermore, “The Palestinian narrative is becoming known despite all the efforts of the pro Zionist lobby.” She argued that “we confidently assert that campaigning against Israeli policies does not equate with anti-semitism.” She also stated that “This conference is another significant step in making clear to Israel and its banker, the US, that Israel cannot and will not be allowed to continue its illegal occupation. The writing is on the wall, the Apartheid Wall, and the illegal occupation will fall. The boycott and sanctions campaign is an essential element in the movement to achieve this as quickly as possible.”

SOAS has been a hotbed for anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, and anti-West activism. The time has come for SOAS to acknowledge its long record. Hopefully, the new committee would lead the way.
SOAS statement  

29 December 2020

SOAS is extremely concerned about any allegations of anti-Semitism at our School. Diversity is key to the SOAS mission and we want all our students to feel welcome and supported in their studies. We have a robust student complaints and appeals process, but we cannot comment on any individual student case or the outcomes of any appeal. However, where we have established an independent panel as part of a complaints process, we would of course consider the findings of such a panel thoroughly and take appropriate action.

Jewish studies at SOAS

SOAS is the world’s leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and its offering in Jewish studies is unique. Our Centre for Jewish Studies brings together a critical mass of scholars and we are also home to the world-renowned Jewish Music Institute.

We offer a wealth of opportunity to learn about Jewish culture and tradition, with more than a dozen modules running next year alone across the institution. We teach Hebrew at undergraduate and Master’s level, and from this year, students will be able to apply for the new pathway in Hebrew in our flagship BA Languages and Cultures, for which we have just recruited a new Lector in Hebrew.

We will be continuing to develop our offering in interdisciplinary Jewish Studies, with new opportunities opening up for collaboration across the institution as we transform our curricula and strengthen our international engagement.

Panel recommends probe into claim of ‘toxic, antisemitic environment’ at Soas

Move comes as university pays out £15k to ex-student who says he was forced to withdraw from degree over atmosphere of Jew-hate
Mathilde Frot December 29, 2020 18:46

The School of Oriental and African Studies has agreed to pay £15,000 to a former student who withdrew from a course after alleging a “toxic, antisemitic environment on campus”. 

Soas reached a settlement with Noah Lewis after the former postgraduate student from Canada claimed a tuition fee refund, according to two charities which offered him legal assistance. 

Mr Lewis said he withdrew from his 2018/2019 master’s degree at the university, allegedly as a result of antisemitism on campus, which contributed to his increased anxiety, according to the UKLFI Charitable Trust and The Lawfare Project.

Mr Lewis appealed against the findings of an earlier investigation into his case, which recommended he be paid £500.

But a fresh panel has now recommended the establishment of a new probe because the first investigation explored specific instances but not Mr Lewis’ more general claims of a “toxic, antisemitic environment” at Soas.

Among various instances described by Mr Lewis were reports of racist daubings on campus and his claim that valid criticisms of Israel “often morph into attacks on the State of Israel and then further progress into blatant attacks on Jews in general.”

Jonathan Turner, executive director of UKLFI Charitable Trust, said: “The panel grasped the nettle and has set a benchmark of best practice which should be followed in other cases where there is prima facie evidence of an antisemitic environment. 

“We congratulate Noah Lewis on pursuing the complaint and hope that other students who experience antisemitism at universities will now be encouraged to object. Organisations such as ours are here to help.”

Brooke Goldstein, executive director of The Lawfare Project, said: “What happened to Noah Lewis should never be considered acceptable at a place of higher learning. 

“The Lawfare Project is glad to see that, with this settlement and continued investigation, Soas is working to right this wrong and ensure that its Jewish students and faculty members can feel safe and welcome on campus.”

A spokesperson for Soas said it was “extremely concerned about any allegations of antisemitism at our School. Diversity is key to the Soas mission and we want all our students to feel welcome and supported in their studies. 

“We have a robust student complaints and appeals process, but we cannot comment on any individual student case or the outcomes of any appeal. However, where we have established an independent panel as part of a complaints process, we would of course consider the findings of such a panel thoroughly and take appropriate action.”

The university features a Centre for Jewish Studies and a Jewish Music Institute, with opportunities to learn Hebrew and more than a dozen modules running next year about Jewish culture and tradition, the spokesperson added.



The Palestinian Right of Return: The 72nd Anniversary of UNGA Resolution 194

IMG - CPS Poster 12 Dec 2020
Various Speakers

Date: 12 December 2020Time: 1:00 PM

Finishes: 12 December 2020Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar

Register a place

The Centre for Palestine Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Arab-American Educational Foundation Center for Arab Studies, University of Houston and The Institute of Law, Birzeit University Cordially invite you to: The Palestinian Right of Return: The 72nd Anniversary of UNGA Resolution 194

Conference Programme:

Session I: 1:00pm-2:45pm

Opening remarks

  • Nimer Sultany, SOAS 
  • Karma Nabulsi, University of Oxford

Past and Present, Origins and Context

  • Abdel Razzaq Takriti, University of Houston, The Right of Return as Anti-Colonial Liberation 
  • Ussama Makdisi, Rice University, British policy, prevarication, and path to the Nakba
  • Anne Irfan, University of Oxford, Palestinian Refugees and the UNRWA Regime  
  • Moderator: Nimer Sultany, SOAS

Session II: 3:00pm-4:45pm

Between Law and Politics: Return and Continued Displacement

  • Ardi Imseis, Queen’s University, UNGA Resolution 194(III) and the Right of Return in International Law
  • Nimer Sultany, SOAS, Internal Colonialism and Internal Displacement  
  • Sahar Francis, Addameer, Ongoing  Displacement in Jerusalem
  • Gilbert Achcar, SOAS, The Right of Return between Fantasy and Reality  
  • Moderator: Reem Botmeh, The Institute of Law, Birzeit University

Session III: 5:00pm-6:45pm

Activism, Agency, Return

  • Mezna Qato, University of Cambridge, Chalkboard Palestine: Schooling, Education and Return 
  • Mayssoun Sukariah, King’s College London, The Right of Return and the pitfalls of Contrarian Research    
  • Rafeef Ziadah, SOAS, Organizing for the Right of Return
  • Akram Salhab, Migrants Organise (London), Countering the Erasure of the Nakba, Recentering Palestinian Rights
  • Moderator: Dina Matar, SOAS

Closing Remarks  6:45pm-7:00pm


Session 1The Palestinian Right of Return: The 72nd Anniversary of UNGA Resolution 194 – Session 1 

The Palestinian Right of Return: The 72nd Anniversary of UNGA Resolution 194 – Session 1

Session 2The Palestinian Right of Return: The 72nd Anniversary of UNGA Resolution 194 – Session 2 

The Palestinian Right of Return: The 72nd Anniversary of UNGA Resolution 194 – Session 2

Session 3The Palestinian Right of Return: The 72nd Anniversary of UNGA Resolution 194 – Session 3 

The Palestinian Right of Return: The 72nd Anniversary of UNGA Resolution 194 – Session 3


This webinar will take place online. Please register for each session at the links below.

Register here for Session 1

Register here for Session 2

Register here for Session 3

Contact email:


US and Palestine: Shoot to Kill Policies and Transnational Resistance



Date and time: Thursday, September 17, 2020, 6 to 7 pm British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Register here.

Shoot to Kill Policies and Transnational Resistance between the US and Palestine with human rights attorney and Assistant Professor Noura Erakat of Rutgers University and moderated by Dr. Rafeef Ziadah of SOAS University of London

Shoot to kill policies constitute extrajudicial assassinations and, yet, have been so deeply embedded in the structures of racial capitalism in the United States and Palestine/Israel as to be/appear normal today. While the contexts in Palestine and the United States are significantly distinct and cannot be collapsed into crude analogies, the framework of Black Palestinian solidarity helps to illuminate the co-constitutive nature of racism and colonialism. In this discussion, Noura Erakat will examine extrajudicial assassinations from the US to Palestine to help illuminate the anti-racist nature of the Palestinian struggle and the anti-colonial nature of the Black freedom struggle. The lecture will conclude by contextualizing the US law enforcement trainings in Israel within a broader scope of the militarization of US policing.


The Continuing the Conversations event series is designed to engage SOAS alumni but open to all. The event will include a talk for about 20 minutes and then a discussion regarding questions from the audience for about 20 minutes.


Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick Department of Africana Studies. Her research interests include humanitarian law, refugee law, national security law, and critical race theory. Noura is the author of Justice for Some: Law As Politics in the Question of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019). She is a Co-Founding Editor of Jadaliyya e-zine and an Editorial Committee member of the Journal of Palestine Studies. She has served as Legal Counsel for a Congressional Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, as a Legal Advocate for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights, and as the national grassroots organizer and legal advocate at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Noura is the coeditor of Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures, an anthology related to the 2011and 2012 Palestine bids for statehood at the UN. More recently, Noura released a pedagogical project on the Gaza Strip and Palestine, which includes a short multimedia documentary, “Gaza In Context,” that rehabilitates Israel’s wars on Gaza within a settler-colonial framework. She is also the producer of the short video, “Black Palestinian Solidarity.” She is a frequent commentator, with recent appearances on CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NPR, among others, and her writings have been widely published in the national media and academic journals.

Dr. Rafeef Ziadah is a lecturer in comparative politics of the Middle East. Her research interests are broadly concerned with the political economy of war and humanitarianism, racism and the security state, with a particular focus on the Middle East. Rafeef’s research has appeared in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space and Race and Class, among other venues. She is currently examining the impact of Gulf Cooperation Council military and commercial interventions following the 2011 Arab uprisings. Prior to joining the department as Lecturer, Rafeef was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the ‘Military Mobilities and Mobilizing Movements in the Middle East’ project with Professor Laleh Khalili. This ESRC funded project explored the politics of infrastructures, ports and transport in the Arabian Peninsula and culminated in the production of the website Sinews of War and Trade. Rafeef holds a Ph.D. in Politics from York University, Canada (2014). Before moving to SOAS, she worked as a researcher and campaign organizer with a number of refugee rights and anti-poverty NGOs.


Once you have registered for the event you will receive a link to access the event closer to the day.

If you would like to pre-submit a question, please email:


SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 2020 FROM 13:00 UTC+02-18:30 UTC+02

Student Workshop: Advocacy for Palestine on Campus

SOAS University of London Details  SOAS University of London   Thornhaugh Street, London, United Kingdom  
  SOAS is a remarkable institution, uniquely combining language, disciplinary expertise and regional focus. We are distinctively positioned to analyse some of the most challenging issues facing the world today.
  SOAS University of London  

  Public · Hosted by EuroPal Forum, ‎KEY48 – مفتاح ٤٨‎ and 2 others  
Saturday, 7 March 2020 from 13:00 UTC+02-18:30 UTC+02 Where: SOAS University, London (room tbc) When: 7 March 2020 – 11:00-16:30 Background: This one-day workshop is designed to provide university-level students with a space in which the challenges facing student advocacy for Palestine, and suggestions to overcome such challenges, are openly discussed and interrogated.Through facilitating a forum in which students are exposed to expert trainers with unique insight on the dynamics of advocacy for Palestine, it is hoped students will be left feeling empowered, encouraged, and enlightened in their solidarity.This workshop is born out of necessity. It comes at one of the most challenging times for advocacy on Palestine with repeated assaults on the BDS movement, the conflation of anti-semitism with criticism of Israeli governmental policy, the designation of NGOs working for Palestine on the government’s anti-extremism guide, and a number of attempted character assassinations against those prominent in student politics for Palestine.These challenges, to name a few, have markedly exacerbated the efficacy of student politics on Palestine. To address some of these challenges and to empower the student movement, this workshop focuses on the following themes:Session One:Requirements for successful advocacy – This segment of the first session looks at the most effective advocacy strategies for pro-Palestine student work – this can include having clear, measurable goals and aims, extensive knowledge of who you are trying to reach, and focused messages and campaigns that connect with your target audience. It will also include things like planning, matching strategy to your target audience, and how to effectively utilise messages that resonate.Knowing your rights – This session is aimed at empowering students with the required knowledge of their rights while advocating for Palestine.Session Two:BDS – This session looks at why the BDS movement is an important and effective strategy for Palestinian rights campaigns. It also concentrates on different BDS strategies and tactics that can work effectively on campus.Session Three:Anti-Semitism – This session looks comprehensively at the ‘new anti-semitism’ and how it has affected Palestine advocacy at large, and what it means for pro-Palestine advocacy moving forwards.


This is a student only event. To gain entry to this workshop, student ID is mandatory. The organiser reserves the right to reserve to refuse entry if it is thought that the ticket holder is either not behaving in an appropriate manner on arrival, or if it is believed the ticket holder is not a student.


EuroPal ForumNon-governmental organisation (NGO)KEY48 – مفتاح ٤٨CommunitySOAS Palestine SocietyCommunity organisation  · College & UniversityWestminster Students For Palestine Society


University of London SOAS favours academic boycott of Israel

28-02-2015 12:34 Source: Press TV

Students and staff at the SOAS school of the University of London have approved an academic boycott of Israel during a week-long referendum.

The vote yesterday, which was open to all students, academics, and management, ended with 73 percent voting for and 27 percent voting against the ‘Yes’ campaign to boycott Israel.

The voters were asked whether they agree with the School of Oriental and African Studies, commonly abbreviated as SOAS, joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to impose an academic boycott on Israel based on the instructions of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

The BDS is a global campaign which uses economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with the goals of the movement — the end of Israeli occupation and colonisation of Palestinian land, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

The PACBI says academic boycott of Israel is based on the fact that the academic institutions are massively complicit in Israel’s persistent denial of basic Palestinian rights, including academic freedom and the right to education.

The SOAS Students’ Union has also endorsed the BDS campaign since 2005. The union ratified a motion in October 2014, urging its leaders “to take the BDS campaign to the university” through a referendum.

Proposals for the academic boycott of Israel have been inspired by the historic academic boycotts of the Apartheid regime of South Africa that were an attempt to pressure the regime to end its abuse of the majority black inhabitants.

Suggestions for the boycott of Tel Aviv have also been made by academics and organisations in other countries including South Africa and Australia.

The goal of the boycotts is to isolate Israel in order to force a change in its oppressive and discriminatory policies towards the Palestinians.



Resisting Israeli Apartheid: Strategies and Principles 

An International Conference on Palestine 

London, 5 December 2004

The Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign

Betty Hunter

General Secretary of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, UK

When the Palestinian people started the second Intifada in September 2000, the world was forced to look again at the sham of the ‘peace process’, a process which had allowed the human rights violations of the illegal occupation and the land grab to increase with impunity.  

International civil society had to ask, how can we support the Palestinian people in their struggle for justice, how can we support their resistance in a non-violent and democratic way? 

How can we challenge the myths perpetuated by the Israelis since 1948, to change the narrative, to inform the public of the facts of the occupation in the face of media bias and government duplicity? 

Solidarity movements across the world need to work to create a popular consciousness that what is happening to the Palestinian people at the hands of the illegal Israeli occupiers is the new apartheid -a new apartheid which must be ended. 

Our task is to isolate Israel and to make it a pariah state, by creating an awareness of the reality of the occupation for the Palestinians. 

This is why the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), with the support of many other organisations and prominent individuals, launched the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign (BIG Campaign) in July 2001. We undertook this campaign on the understanding that we need to work on both boycott and sanctions and at different levels: the grassroots; civil institutions and organisations; the British parliamentary and the European levels. 

However, work at the British parliamentary and European levels will only be effective if we are successful at the grassroots. Politicians move only when electorally necessary and in Britain, apart from some honourable exceptions, we have politicians who are happy to collude and collaborate with the US and Israel in their flouting of international law. Institutions change only when their profits or interests are threatened. 

The popular boycott is the foundation of the boycott and sanctions movement and it is a tool by which we can explain to the public exactly what is happening to the Palestinians, to help rectify the glaring omissions and bias of our media. It gives ordinary people a means to show their disgust with Israeli policies. To simply ask a shop assistant or a manager where the herbs come from and refuse it if it comes from Israel is a political act of solidarity. 

All round Britain there are regular activities asking people to boycott Israeli goods. This is the main criteria for our boycott work – because it enables people in every town, large or small, to decide on the most appropriate focus for their actions.  

Our literature is aimed at both informing the shoppers about the situation in Palestine and how to raise the issue of boycott in their local areas. It is straightforward to explain that Israel has been imposing a boycott of Palestine for years with its military blockade as well as stealing Palestinian land, water and other resources (and all of this in addition to the daily killings, demolitions, closures and checkpoints) 

We protest against the sale of Israeli goods wherever we can; at Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, etc. Some protests are stalls with literature and placards, and some involve re-labelling goods with ‘boycott Israeli apartheid’ stickers. And yet others involve filling up trolleys with Israel goods and then demanding that the managers review their policy –this tactic can create a good platform for telling shoppers why Israeli goods should be boycotted. 

We have approached all the major stores to review their policies at national level but their reply is always ‘it is up to consumers’ –this is a challenge for us -if we can escalate the boycott to the level of the South African example at its height, then we can change store policy. We have also attended the AGMs of several companies in order to question their trade and support of Israel. 

While the immediate purpose of the boycott campaign is to inform public opinion (with which I believe we have had some success in Britain), in the medium term the boycott will have economic consequences. Also the more widespread the awareness and general disgust with Israel becomes, the harder it will become for institutions and governments to support Israel.  

When the general public is talking about boycotting Israeli goods, they begin to ask other questions:

  • Why is our government trading with this regime which ignores human rights and international law?
  • Why are we selling arms to an illegal occupier?
  • Why does Israel have favourable terms with the EU?

We use our postcard campaign aimed at MPs, Tony Blair and Jack Straw to give members of the public a highly visible and simple way to demand sanctions from the government. 

The European Union 

The European Union is Israel’s largest trading partner; it plays a vital role in the economic support of Israel. That is why a European wide campaign is essential and should be a strategic focus in the coming year. 

Israel benefits from the European Trade Association agreement despite the fact that this agreement demands from participants ‘respect for human rights and democracy’ and despite the fact that Israel persists in labelling goods from the illegal settlements as ‘made in Israel’.  

The European Parliament voted in 2002 to suspend this agreement but the European Commission and individual governments refuse to comply, thus breaking the Geneva Convention which states that a High Contracting Party may not facilitate a third-party violation – the violation being that Israel uses Occupied Territories as sovereign territory. We are working with MEPs across Europe to find effective ways of challenging Israeli privilege and that is a priority in the coming year. 

Across Europe the demand for sanctions and boycott is growing. There are different historical and cultural contexts which make the emphasis different from country to country but essentially this campaign is unifying and strengthening. 

From the European Social Forum we had a call to focus our solidarity work on sanctions and boycott. 

Multiplicity of Action 

The boycott campaign is also diversifying. It has been remarkable that ever since the first meetings, people have been inspired to take up the call in whatever way they can. So we have had actions on a cultural level (recently in London a prominent Israeli human rights lawyer called on artists to refrain from going to Israel unless they were at least also going to Palestine), on a sporting level, and of course on the academic level which you will hear about later.  

Much more needs to be done but we have reached the crucial point at which individuals and organisations are no longer intimidated into remaining silent but are looking for ways to actively oppose Israel’s racist policies.  

The Palestinian narrative is becoming known despite all the efforts of the pro Zionist lobby. The pre-conference publicity demonstrates the lengths to which they will go but we can see that this bullying tactic backfires –we confidently assert that campaigning against Israeli policies does not equate with anti-semitism. 

We need to look at ways in which the trade union movement can help, not only with divestment which you will discuss later but in refusing to handle Israeli goods. And students need to be informed and mobilised on this issue. 

In the coming months we will continue to expose the role of Caterpillar, a company which supplies killer bulldozers and other machines to destroy Palestinian lives and homes and which has plants and offices across the world. Caterpillar could become the Barclays Bank of our campaign to isolate Israeli apartheid. 

Boycott and sanctions campaigning must be a priority for all our solidarity work.  

We know that the Israeli government is afraid of sanctions. Financial stability relies on confidence. Financial fragility deters investment. When financial and commercial institutions begin to see that Israel is a bad risk, then they will look for safer havens for their money.  

Israeli economic fragility exists. The massive US bankrolling of £3 billion a year helps keep Israel in business. And even then, the Israeli war economy creates massive internal problems, with high unemployment and high poverty levels for the Israelis. 

This conference is another significant step in making clear to Israel and its banker, the US, that Israel cannot and will not be allowed to continue its illegal occupation. The writing is on the wall, the Apartheid Wall, and the illegal occupation will fall. The boycott and sanctions campaign is an essential element in the movement to achieve this as quickly as possible. And urgency is vital as the Israelis continue to destroy and steal Palestinian lives and land daily in their aim of preventing any possibility of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state.  

The public support for this campaign has grown to include the majority of the NGOs in Palestine and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, and many Israeli activists including refusenik pilot Jonathon Shapiro, who at the European Social Forum called on Europe to help Israel by boycotting until the occupation ends and Palestinians have full human and democratic rights. 

Palestinians have the right to self determination –it is our responsibility to help them achieve that by declaring that international civil society will have nothing to do with those who occupy another people’s land and deny them human rights. By boycotting and isolating Israel. 

UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies Becomes an anti-Israel Platform


Editorial Note

UCLA plans to offer a three-part research colloquium next year named “Democracy in Israel: Past, Present and Future.” It is organized by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and co-sponsored by the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish History at UCLA. The colloquium brings “together an invited group of scholars from diverse disciplines – History, Law, Political Science, Sociology, and Philosophy – to present and discuss critical topics of democracy in Israel.”

However, the participants come from the like-minded political perception of the organizers.  This is not surprising because the colloquium moderators, Dov Waxman, who directs the Nazarian Center, David Myers, and the coordinator, Liron Lavi, allow their politics to lead their way.  

The Nazarian Center mission statement “is to promote the study of modern Israel at UCLA and beyond… Through our research, teaching and outreach, the Nazarian Center has become an internationally known source of expertise and education about Israel and an intellectually vibrant home for Israel Studies at UCLA.”  The director, Waxman, added an inclusive message: “Through a commitment to academic rigor, interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship, and a dispassionate approach, we seek to promote a broader and deeper understanding of Israel’s history, politics, society, and culture. At a time when discussions about Israel are often heated and becoming increasingly polarized, we also hope to foster a more nuanced and civil discourse about Israel, inside and outside the classroom. Our goal is education—to advance knowledge and academic scholarship about Israel—not advocacy. Nor do we evaluate guest speakers, affiliated faculty members, or students with regard to their political beliefs, affiliations, or positions. We are neither “pro-Israel” nor “anti-Israel.” Instead, we are a place, and an online space, for people to teach and learn about Israel, whatever their politics or backgrounds.”   

By all accounts, the colloquium provides a one-sided and biased picture of Israel, judging by the speakers known for their radical political activism. The organizers and participants are at the same end of the political spectrum where the neo-Marxist, critical scholars congregate.   As a result, the colloquium lacks a wide range of views necessary for academic pursuit.

The participants are Areej Sabbagh-Khoury, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Dmitry Shumsky, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Liora Halperin, Department of History, University of Washington; Dani Filc, Department of Politics and Government, Ben Gurion University of the Negev; Amal Jamal, School of Political Science, Tel Aviv University; Dahlia Scheindlin, The Century Foundation; Gershon Shafir, Department of Sociology, University of California San Diego; Ameer Fakhoury, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa; Menachem Mautner, The Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University.

Dov Waxman co-authored, in 2011, an article promoting BDS titled, “The Boycott Debate: No Longer Taboo in Progressive Pro-Israel Circles.” 

David N. Myers published an article “Another way to think about BDS,” promoting the BDS aims. 

Liron Lavi reviewed favorably Judith Butler’s book, Partying Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism.  Butler, a leading critical scholar, has been a bitter critic of Zionism, and her book was attacked for promoting thinly veiled anti-Semitic themes. 

IAM reported in April on Dmitry Shumsky, “HUJ Dmitry Shumsky: The Next Generation of Academic-Political Activists,” that Allan Arkush, professor of Judaic studies and history at Binghamton University reviewed Shumsky’s work, noting Shumsky is “denouncing Israeli policy toward the West Bank, supporting BDS, and calling for an end to Jewish sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem.”

Liora Halperin was quoted in a MESA conference panel denouncing university donors’ “pernicious pressure for pro-Israel advocacy.”

Ameer Fakhoury, co-authored last year, the “Jewish-Arab partnership as an antidote to Jewish supremacism,” which urged readers to redefine the Israeli politics and invoke a “new partnership of Arabs and Jews, working side-by-side to combat Jewish supremacism.” 

Areej Sabbagh-Khoury argued “that the 1948 Nakba was neither the beginning nor the end of a process of settler-colonial expropriation. Instead, I claim that the mid-1930s signaled intensified efforts to expel Palestinian sharecroppers, a practice which culminated in the Nakba.” Where “the Zionist settlers utilized forceful practices, perpetrated in this region,” intending “to vacate the lands of its Palestinian inhabitants.” She focuses on “the pre-1948 colonization practices and their role in the Nakba.” 

Dani Filc has been a life-long political activist masquerading as an academic. Filc revealed in a radio interview, “All is Talking,” hosted by Oded Shachar on Reshet Bet, on 14.10.13, as one of the organizers behind the 2011 protest movement, which, according to him, has only made things worse politically. Filc also stated of the Israeli government’s “fear industry, if we did not have the Iranian threat, they would have had to invent an alien takeover.”

Amal Jamal was quoted two years ago in an Al-Jazeera article, titled “Israel celebrates ‘pyrrhic’ victory as it turns 70,” that “This is more like a pyrrhic victory… Israel has won this round of the battle, but at a price it probably can’t afford in the coming rounds.”  

Gershon Shafir was very critical last year of the publication of a pro-Israel journal affiliated with the Association for Israel Studies titled “Word Crime.” He wrote: “This attempt to suppress critical voices and dissenting views within the [association] is a microcosm of the larger assault on liberal voices and institutions in Israel… The term ‘word crimes’ echoes accusations hurled at ‘the criminals of Oslo,’ while the claim of reclaiming parallels the attempted delegitimation of political opposition. Ironically, the [association] itself was created with the aim of procuring a forum where Israel may be analyzed with the tools common to the social sciences and humanities, to free the study of Israel from the bonds of political loyalty and subservience in which it was enmeshed. That accomplishment, academic autonomy, is threatened now by the repoliticization of the study of Israel through the criminalization of scholarship and assault on academic freedom.”  

Dahlia Scheindlin wrote a 2015 piece, “No, BDS does not unfairly ‘single out’ Israel.” 

Menachem Mautner wrote in 2006 that: “Israel’s definition as a ‘Jewish and democratic state’ does not allow for granting somewhere a space within the definition of Israel’s national identity, to the Arab citizens. This definition excludes the Arab citizens of the state from the national identity of the state.”

Israel Studies has been hijacked by anti-Israel activists before. To recall, in 2002, Prof. Oren Yiftachel was selected to become the first Helen Diller Foundation Visiting Professor at the UC Berkeley Center for Middle Eastern Studies. As reported by Martin Kramer at the time, “Yiftachel was the kind of Israeli that an Edward Said-boosting, Saudi-connected Middle East center could not only tolerate, but embrace.”  

Waxman had a chance to fulfill his promises of producing a balanced discourse on Israel.  However, his pick of panelists indicates that balance and moderation was the last thing on his mind.   This should come as no surprise given the so-called “cancel culture” in the universities, a practice that blocks voices not compatible with the Neo-Marxist, critical hegemony.

Democracy in Israel: Past, Present and Future
A research colloquium organized by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and co-sponsored by The Sady and Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish History at UCLA.
The colloquium will bring together an invited group of scholars from diverse disciplines – History, Law, Political Science, Sociology, and Philosophy – to present and discuss critical topics of democracy in Israel. The final papers resulting from the research meetings are to be published in an edited volume.
Colloquium Moderators:
Dov Waxman ( and David Myers (
Liron Lavi (
Presented remotely via Zoom

January 14, 2021 – 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Presenting Scholars:
1. Areej Sabbagh-Khoury, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
2. Dmitry Shumsky, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew University ofJerusalem.
3. Alexander Kaye, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University.
Liora Halperin, Department of History, University of Washington.

March 11, 2021 – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM (Pacific Time)
Presenting Scholars:
1. Dani Filc, Department of Politics and Government, Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
2. Amal Jamal, School of Political Science, Tel Aviv University.
3. Dahlia Scheindlin, The Century Foundation.
Gershon Shafir, Department of Sociology, University of California San Diego.

May 13, 2021 – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM (Pacific Time)
Presenting Scholars:
1. Julie Cooper, School of Political Science, Tel Aviv University.
2. Ameer Fakhoury, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa.
3. Menachem Mautner, The Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University.
Suzanne Stone, Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization.

For questions on the closed colloquium, contact Liron Lavi: (

Radical Activism at the BGU Africa Center


Editorial Note

Something is wrong with the Tamar Golan Africa Center at BGU.  The Center was created in 2009 to address the “decline in African studies in the Israeli universities,” which started in the 1990s.  The paucity of African studies was especially unfortunate because Israel’s relations with African countries have dramatically improved in the past two decades.  In addition to diplomatic relations, Israel has extensive business ties to the continent. 

Africa has also become a popular destination for Israeli backpackers.  Indeed, in August, the Africa Center posted an invitation on the Facebook page of “Mzungu Africa for Travelers – Africa Backpackers Community,” offering studies to young travelers, “Has the Corona shortened your big trip to the African continent? Pondering what to do and if to start studying? Let me present the inter-university program for African studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.”

But, as in the case of the Department of Politics and Government, radical activists have seized on the opportunity to turn the Africa Center into an Israel-bashing venue. Four days ago, the Africa Center hosted an event to promote their studies to students interested in this field. A panel discussion was titled “Racism in the Academia: Voices from Ben Gurion University.” The invitation stated that “After more than a decade in which the Department of African Studies at Ben-Gurion University operates, it is the time, for us, as part of the academic world, to look inside and ask the difficult questions. We invite you to an evening that will deal with racism in academia in its various aspects. From researchers that classes are based on, through lecturers, and to students. The diversity, or the lack of diversity, of various populations in the university.” 

The questions to the panelists were, “African studies for whites only? Lack of diversity of academic staff; Ethiopians as research topics; Personal testimonies of students; The difficulty of being a representative minority.”

The meeting was hosted by Prof. Lynn Schler and featured the panelists: Efrat Yerday, Mazal Bisawer, Aweka Zena, Shoshana Zimro, Yeshi Mengistu. All of them were former students at BGU.  A perusal of their background reveals that they actively promote awareness of the Ethiopian-descent community in Israel.  

Suggesting that Israel is racist is quite surprising given that the Israeli government approved a decision last September to bring two thousand Jews from Ethiopia to Israel. As it happened, a day after the conference, a plane carrying 219 new immigrants from Ethiopia, has landed. One possible explanation is that Efrat Yerday is an activist supported by the New Israel Fund. Her 2016 article “Being black and Jewish: Ethiopians bear the brunt of Israeli state racism,” was published by Middle East Eye, a portal of Middle East news notorious for its hostility to Israel.  She wrote it when she joined Prof. Dani Filc, in 2015-2016, to teach a Social Justice Internship Program, “Black Identity in White Space: The Ethiopian Population in the Israeli Context,” for undergraduate students. The course offered “political specialization” by the Department of Politics and Government to Ethiopian students.  The course stated goal was to train a generation of young leaders to “work for a more just society.” The program aimed to give students “the opportunity to gain experience in social activities in non-governmental organizations.” The internship program required participation in an annual academic course, once every two weeks, and offered six points credit with some 1000 NIS scholarship. According to the syllabus, “The course will examine whether the absorption policy produces the differentiation and segregation of the Ethiopian population from the Israeli society, and we will analyze its impact on various social gaps; Socio-economic, educational, occupational and the like. We will examine the impact of this policy on the sense of belonging or not belonging of Ethiopians to the Israeli society through issues of identity.” 

In August 2020, IAM reported that “King’s College London’s Anti-Israel Group ‘Action Palestine’ Recruits Israelis to Besmirch Israel.” The keynote speaker was Efrat Yerday.  In her talk, Yerday stated: “Ethiopians are sick of being depicted as people who should be grateful to their white ‘saviors.’”  

Moreover, last year, Yerday published an article discussing artists that “are presenting their attitudes towards the ‘white gaze.’ Though constantly subjected to it by the Israeli hegemony.” Yerday draws on postcolonial theory. As a former student of BGU Politics and Government, the use of post-modernist jargon to debunk Israel is not surprising.

Mazal Bisawer, another New Israel Fund associate and Africa Center panelist, recently penned an article debunking the assertion that Israel saved the Ethiopian Jewish community, titled “Really Thank You for not Bringing us in Chains.”

Some of the Africa Center courses are also puzzling: “Africa and Activism” has two goals. The first is to expose the students to a wide range of topics and issues related to community development and social volunteering in Africa and Israel. “We will examine different approaches to community development and the various challenges and dilemmas that have arisen in the past and arise in the present, in attempts to implement each approach. The second goal is to promote the direct activity of students in local organizations in the Negev. Through volunteer work, students will gain personal experience in community work.”

In another course, “The everyday life of state deportation regimes: Immigration enforcement in Israel and the EU,” students address questions “revolving around the theme of global politic, citizens and non-citizens power, and new paradigms for immigration and securitization in the 21st century. This hands-on course offers the students a unique opportunity to observe contemporary immigration enforcement mechanisms from ‘within’. The course advances in two parallel paths: surveying contemporary critical theory in focus on immigration enforcement (2015-today) and exercising day to day bureaucracy and processing by refugees and asylum seekers themselves.”

The Department of Politics and Government was at the center of attention in 2011 when the Council for Higher Education found it to be in excess of community activism and too little core studies. The Africa Center, which works closely with it, is suffering from similar problems.  The Council of Higher Education needs to examine its offering, which has little to do with the Center’s mission statement.  Once again, a taxpayer-supported program has been turned into a venue for Israel bashing.

תקווהישראליתהירשמו ללימודים

אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגבהמחלקה למעורבות חברתיתתקווה ישראלית גזענות באקדמיה: קולות מאוניברסיטת בן-גוריון

גזענות באקדמיה: קולות מאוניברסיטת בן-גוריון

20 דצמ’ 2020   18:00

מרכז אפריקה ע״ש תמר גולן מזמין אתכם.ן לפאנל של בוגרים.ות וסטודנטים.יות

לימודי אפריקה ללבנים בלבד?היעדר מגוון של הסגל האקדמי
יוצאי אתיופיה כנושאי מחקר
עדויות אישיות של סטודנטים.יות
הקושי להיות מיעוט מייצג

משתתפי הפאנל:
אפרת ירדאי, מזל ביסהוור, אווקה זנה, שושנה זימרו, ישי מנגיסטוהנחייה:פרופ׳ לין שלר

קישור למפגש ב-zoom »

מרכז אפריקה ע״ש תמר גולן  באוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב

Lev Luis Grinberg shared a post.

20 h

Shahar Führer

31 m  · מרכז אפריקה ע”ש תמר גולן באוניברסיטת בן גוריון בנגב מזמין אתכם ואתכן לערב שיעסוק בגזענות באקדמיה על היבטיה השונים.החל בחוקרים והחוקרות עליהם מתבססים השיעורים, דרך המרצים והמרצות ועד לסטודנטים והסטודנטיות והמגוון, או היעדר המגוון, של האוכלוסיות השונות באוניברסיטה.נשמח לראות את כולכם וכולכן היום, בשעה 18:00, בזום:


40 people respondedSunday, 20 December 2020 at 18:00 UTC+02Public · Hosted by ‎מרכז אפריקה ע”ש תמר גולן- The Tamar Golan Africa Centre‎Online event
אחרי למעלה מעשור בו המחלקה ללימודי אפריקה בבן גוריון פועלת, הגיע הזמן שלנו, כחלק מהעולם האקדמי, להביט פנימה ולשאול את השאלות הקשות.
אנו מזמינות אתכם ואתכן לערב שיעסוק בגזענות באקדמיה על היבטיה השונים. החל בחוקרים והחוקרות עליהם מתבססים השיעורים, דרך המרצים והמרצות ועד לסטודנטים והסטודנטיות והמגוון, או היעדר המגוון, של האוכלוסיות השונות באוניברסיטה.
נשמח לראות את כולכם וכולכן ביום ראשון, ה20.12 בשעה 18:00


Shahar Führer shared a link.

3 August· הקורונה קיצרה לכם.ן את הטיול הגדול ביבשת אפריקה? מתלבטים מה לעשות ואם להתחיל ללמוד?הרשו לי להציג את התכנית הבין אוניברסיטאית ללימודי אפריקה באוניברסיטת בן גוריון בנגב:ההרשמה בעיצומה – מהרו להירשם ולהבטיח את מקומכם.ן!✨האתר שלנו ללימודי אפריקה –✨לאתר ההרשמה של אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב –✨מזכירות לימודי אפריקה – 08-6461112✨מייל המחלקה-

ללמוד ולחקור יבשת מרתקת בתוכנית חדשנית ומשולבת                         

התוכנית ללימודי אפריקה כוללת מגוון עשיר של קורסים העוסקים באפריקה מהיבטים שונים, במטרה להעניק לסטודנט/ית ידע להבנת תהליכים היסטוריים, פוליטיים, חברתיים וכלכליים בהקשר של אפריקה ולהקנות לו/ה מיומנויות מחקריות לחקר חברות ותרבויות אפריקאיות.לבוגרי תוכנית זו יוענק התואר: “בוגר בלימודי אפריקה בתוכנית הבין-אוניברסיטאית”.זוהי תכנית חדשנית המאפשרת לסטודנט ללמוד קורסים בנושאי אפריקה הן באוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב והן בשתי האוניברסיטאות האחרות השותפות לתוכנית: אוניברסיטת תל-אביב והאוניברסיטה הפתוחה*. שיתוף הפעולה בין מוסדות הלימוד מרחיב את האפשרויות ומעשיר את תוכנית הלימודים. הלימודים מועשרים על ידי פעילויות שמארגן מרכז אפריקה ע”ש תמר גולן.  



CONTACT: Elisheva Goldberg
917.740.4031 phone

Ethiopian Israeli Activist Efrat Yerday Wins New Israel Fund Gallanter Prize

20 August 2020

The New Israel Fund (NIF) announced today that it will grant the “Guardian of Democracy” Gallanter Prize to Efrat Yerday, the chair of Israel’s Association for Ethiopian Jews and a talented, transformational leader of the progressive movement in Israel. Efrat will be speaking via video at NIF’s virtual gala on September 13th, 2020.

According to NIF, Efrat is receiving this cash prize in recognition of her profound moral vision which is both deeply rooted in her own community and based in the universal principles of freedom, dignity, and human rights for all. In particular, the prize will recognize her contributions fighting institutional racism, combating police violence, and demanding better representation for people of color in Israel’s public sphere.

In an interview with NIF, Efrat said “I see the Ethiopian community’s fight against police brutality and racism as an opportunity — if we can address them in one case, we can address them in all, and help prevent violence from trickling into the rest of Israeli society. I am proud to receive this prize from the New Israel Fund, which seeks justice for Ethiopian Israelis as it does for every member of Israeli society.”

Efrat is a writer as well as an activist. Over the years, she has not only spoken out on behalf of the Ethiopian Israeli community, but she has set up new spaces for discussing Ethiopian Israeli identity and history — blogs, academic courses, and even a publishing house called “Ra’av” (“hunger”), which aims to add writers of color to Israeli bookshelves.

Past winners of the Gallanter Prize include Maisam Jaljuli, a women’s rights and labor activist Dr. Mushira Aboo Dia, the chairwoman of Physicians for Human Rights Israel, Mutasim Ali, a central leader of the African asylum seeker community in Israel, and Einat Hurvitz, the Israel Religious Action Center’s former director of legal and public policy.

The New Israel Fund is the leading organization advancing and defending democracy and equality for all Israelis. Widely credited with building progressive Israeli civil society, NIF supports a wide range of Israeli nonprofits and has provided over $300 million to progressive civil society organizations since its inception in 1979.

The Gallanter Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding Israeli activist who has made significant contributions to the field of social justice in Israel. Each years’ winner receives a cash award in support of their work and are invited to address NIF’s Guardian of Democracy Dinner.=====================================================================

אוניברסיטת בן גוריון
הפקולטה למדעי הרוח והחברה
אפריקה ואקטיביזם
סמסטר ב
יום ב׳ 18 16
מרצה: פרופ׳ לין שלר
עוזרת הוראה: שחר ליבנה
לקורס אפריקה ואקטיביזם שתי מטרות מרכזיות. המטרה הראשונה היא לחשוף את הסטודנטיות ים
המשתתפות ים בקורס למגוון רחב של נושאים וסוגיות הקשורים לפיתוח והתנדבות קהילתית באפריקה
בישראל. נבחן גישות שונות של פיתוח קהילתי ואת והאתגרים והדילמות השונים שעלו בעבר ועולים בהווה
בניסיונות ליישם כל אחת מן הגישות המטרה השנייה היא לקדם פעילות ישירה של הסטודנטיות ים
בארגונים מקומיים בנגב. דרך עבודת ההתנדבות, סטודנטים יות ירכשו ניסיון אישי בעבודה קהילתית
דיונים בשיעורים וביקורים בארגונים שונים יאפשרו לנו לקשור בין החלק התיאורטי והפרקטי של הקורס
במהלך הקורס יתקיימו שיעורי מבוא בנושא ההיסטוריה של פיתוח באפריקה ומעורבות של גורמים שונים
בפיתוח קהילתי. לאחר מכן נסייר בארגונים השונים שבהם סטודנטים מתנדבים על מנת לבחון את מגוון
הפרקטיקות והגישות המיושמות בשטח
בקורס ״אפריקה ואקטיביזם״ סטודנטיות ים נדרשים ות ליישם ולהפעיל את הידע שרכשו דרך מעורבות
אישית בסוגים שונים של עשייה חברתית. הסטודנטיות ים יחולקו לפרויקטים ומיזמים שונים בתוך
האוניברסיטה ומחוץ לה. בסוף הקורס יידרשו הסטודנטיות ים להציג את פועלן ם בפני הכיתה ולהגיש דו ח
המסכם את פעילותן ם בארגונים. כמו כן יתקיים מבחן בסוף הקורס. על הסטודנטיות ים המשתתפות ים
בקורס חלה חובת נוכחות בשיעורים ובסיורים, וחובת קריאת המאמרים המופיעים בסילבוס לקראת
השיעורים הרלוונטיים. הציון הסופי בקורס יורכב מהשתתפות פעילה והערכת המרצה, הערכת פעילות
הסטודנט ית בארגון, הצגת הפרויקט בכיתה והעבודה המסכמת ( ומבחן (
שימו לב ההשתתפות בקורס מותנית בנוכחות במפגש אוריינטציה שייתקיים ב 27.10 בשעה 18:00
השימוש בלפטופים וטלפונים בכיתה אסור בהחלט סטודנטים מתבקשים לשים מכשירים בתיקים במהלך
כל השיעור
דרישות הקורס והרכב הציון:
1 . נוכחות חובה היעדרות מעל למכסה המותרת משמעה ציון נכשל בקורס.
2 . מבחן מסכם 50% מכלל הציון לקורס.
3 . פרויקטים 50% מכלל הציון לקורס.
הערכת פעילות הסטודנט ית בארגון
הצגת הפרויקט בכיתה
דו ח מסכם קבוצתי עד 5 עמודים
מהלך הקורס ותוכן המפגשים ייתכנו שינויים :
1.3 מבוא לקורס: הצגת התנדבויות ובחירת עדיפויות על ידי הסטודנטים
8.3 הבניית ידע על אפריקה
לין שלר, ״מבוא״ בתוך השדות באפריקה: חוויות של מחקר והבניית ידע. עורכות: ר. ג׳יניאו, נ. לוי, ול. שלר
פרדס ספרים, חיפה 2016). והפרקים הבאים:
יונתן ניסים גז, ״כתבי הקודש כמתווה להיכרות: זהות יהודית — ישראלית מורכבת במפגש עם נצרות שמרנית
אורית יקותיאלי, ״עבודת שדה בקרב אמני ואמניות פאס במרוקו״
הילה סגל — קליין, ״תרגום ככוח מעצב: דינמיקה של ידע בעבודה עם מתורגמן בקניה״
נהרה פלדמן ,, ״לגלות שאת אישה לבנה :: עבודת שדה במאלי״
15.3 תיאוריות של פיתוח בינלאומי וקהילתי באפריקה
רעות ברק וויקס, ״מבוא: פיתוח בינלאומי באפריקה,״ מתוך י. נ. גז, ר. ברק וייס, מ. כגן (( .. עורכים )) פיתוח
בינלאומי באפריקה: בין הלכה ומעשה. חיפה: פרדס הוצאה לאור 2019 .
22.3 . תיאוריות של פיתוח בינלאומי וקהילתי באפריקה – המשך
Dambisa Moyo,Moyo, DeadDead Aid:Aid: WhyWhy AidAid IsIs NotNot WorkingWorking andand HowHow ThereThere IsIs AnotherAnother WayWay forfor AfricaAfrica PenguinPenguin Books,Books, 2009.2009. ChapterChapter 11–2.2.
Ziai, A.A. (2013)(2013) ‘The’The discoursediscourse ofof ‘development”development’ andand whywhy itit shouldshould bebe abandoned’.abandoned’. DevelopmentDevelopment inin PracticePractice 23(1):23(1): 123‐126.123‐126. (
5.4 משבר הפליטים בישראל ואירופה – סיור ביום חמישי בתל אביב — פרטים בהמשך
12.4 משבר הפליטים בעולם ובישראל: סקירה כללית
גליה צבר “” .. מעובדים זרים למהגרי עבודה. קווים כלליים לתיאור סוגיית הגירת עבודה בעולם
ובישראל ,”,” מתוך: לא באנו להישאר: מהגרי עבודה מאפריקה לישראל ובחזרה (( .. אוניברסיטת תל
אביב 2008).2008). ,, עמודים 44.44.–3535
19.4 עדות אישית של מבקש מקלט מאפריקה בישראל — פרטים בהמשך
26.4 סרט בכיתב: ״זהב שחור״
3.5 סיור לארגון מקומי — פרטים בהמשך
10.5 דילמות, אתגרים והפקת לקחים של סטודנטים מתדבים באפריקה: פאנל של בוגרי המשלחות
ותוכנית התמחות של מרכז אפריקה.
Banerjee, AbhijitAbhijit andand EstherEsther Duflo.Duflo. 2011.2011. PoorPoor Economics:Economics: AA RadicalRadical RethinkingRethinking ofof thethe WayWay toto FightFight GlobalGlobal PovertyPoverty:: PublicPublic Affairs.Affairs. Selections.Selections.
24.5 כנס של מרכז באפריקה – פרטים בהמשך
31.5 הצגת פרוייקטים
7.6 הצגת פרוייקטים
14.6 דיון וסיכום

Course Manual
Course Name
The everyday life of state deportation regimes: Immigration enforcement in Israel and the EU.
Thematic affiliation
Anthropology of the State, Immigration studies
2 ecp
Weekly meetings, 90 minutes each, full day field excursion
Related Theme(s)
Immigration studies, International Comparative Democracy and Comparative Modern Societies, State Bureaucracy
Ilan Amit (AISSR, UvA Department of Anthropology)
Course Content
In this advanced course students address questions revolving around the theme of global politic, citizens and non-citizens power, and new paradigms for immigration and securitization in the 21st century. This hands-on course offers the students a unique opportunity to observe contemporary immigration enforcement mechanisms from ‘within’.
The course advances in two parallel paths: surveying contemporary critical theory in focus on immigration enforcement (2015-today) and exercising day to day bureaucracy and processing by refugees and asylum seekers themselves such as RSD applications.
Learning Outcomes
• The student is conversant with current debates in Immigration studies
• The student is able to draw insights from the field working on the concluding project event
• The student is able to apply research skills and incorporate field experience as well as course readings into a final research paper
Form(s) of Instruction
• Assigned readings
• Open class sessions
• Group projects
• Field day
Main Course Source
• The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement by Nicholas de Genova
• Other course material posted on MODeL
• RSD simulation (pairs) 25%
• Newsflash presentation 25%
• Final paper 50%
Contact Information Teacher
Office hours: XXX
Important deadlines*
*Each day of submission delay deducts 10% of the grade
Content and Instructions Word Limit Weight
RSD simulation (pairs)
Simulating an RSD application in pairs – asylum seeker and inspector. According to RSD application form 25%
Newsflash presentation on immigration enforcement Current Affairs (pairs)
10 min presentation (pairs), summary paper.
1,000 words (10% margin)
Research paper: Current Affairs
Upload on MODeL (pairs)
See assignment guidelines
3,000 words (10% margin)
Weekly Program
Readings and presentations
Deadlines and
Feb. 7
Introduction – Refugees, Asylum Seekers, in Israel and the EU
Base line quiz covering various course materials. Based on prior knowledge. You are requested NOT to google any of the course subjects prior to 1st class.
Class quiz. Please install the Kahoot app on your smartphones before class, create user name and password.
Feb. 14
Deportation regimes
De Genova, N. and Peutz, N. (2010). The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement. Duke University Press. introduction
Feb. 21
Immigration Securitization
Andreas, P. (2009). Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide. Cornell University Press: Ithaca and London. Introduction and addendum to new addition.
Feb. 28
The spectacle of immigration enforcement
Notes on the difficulty of studying the state – Philip Abrams
Society, Economy, and the State Effect – Timothy Mitchell
5 Mar. 7
External lecture
6 Mar. 14
The deportation continuum
Kalir, B. and Wissink. L. (2016). The deportation continuum: convergences between state agents and NGO workers in the Dutch deportation field. Citizenship Studies 20(1): 34-49.
7 Mar. 21
State abandonment
Kalir, B. (2017). State desertion and “out-of-procedure” asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Focaal 77 (2017): 63–75
8 Mar. 28
Care and Aid
Linda Polman – The Crisis Caravan – introduction
9 Apr. 4
RSD (Refugee Status Determination)
Amit, R. (2011). No Refuge: Flawed Status Determination and the Failures of South Africa’s Refugee System to Provide Protection. International Journal of Refugee Law Vol. 0 No. 0 pp. 1–31.
Class role play – RSD application and interview.
10 Apr. 12
Immigration detention
Performing states of crises: Exploring the implementation surplus of migration detention in Israel and Denmark
Amit and Lindberg – Patterns of Prejudice
11 Apr. 18
Offshore immigration detention and processing: The EU, Australia and the U.S.
Chauka please tell us the time
Film screening
12 Apr. 25
Anti immigratioin activism: Israel and the EU
Duman, Y.H. (2014). Infiltrators go home! Explaining xenophobic mobilization against asylum seekers in Israel. Int. Migration & Integration 16:1231-1254.
Final Paper submission
Field visit
Mandatory attendance


קול קורא לסטודנטים-תכנית התמחות לצדק חברתי

“זהות שחורה במרחב לבן: האוכלוסיה האתיופית בהקשר הישראלי”

נפתחה ההרשמה לסטודנטים לתואר ראשון בפקולטה למדעי הרוח והחברה באוניברסיטת בן גוריון

לקורס התמחות פוליטית לשנת הלימודים האקדמית תשע”ו, 2015-2016

המחלקה לפוליטיקה וממשל שמחה להזמין אתכם להגיש מועמדות לתכנית חדשה של התמחות פוליטית בקרב האוכלוסייה האתיופית לשנת תשע”ו.

התכנית שמה לה למטרה להכשיר דור של מנהיגים צעירים אשר יפעלו למען חברה צודקת יותר. התכנית מעניקה לסטודנטים ולסטודנטיות הזדמנות לרכוש ניסיון בפעילות חברתית בארגונים לא ממשלתיים. תכנית ההתמחות מלווה בקורס אקדמי שנתי אחת לשבועיים. בקורס נבחן באם מדיניות הקליטה מייצרת את הבדלתה והתבדלותה של האוכלוסייה האתיופית מהחברה הישראלית, וננתח את השפעתה על פערים חברתיים שונים; סוציו-אקונמיים, חינוכיים, תעסוקתיים וכדומה. נבחן את השפעתה של מדיניות זו על תחושת השייכות או אי השייכות של יוצאי אתיופיה לחברה הישראלית דרך סוגיות של זהות.  הקורס יינתן על ידי גב’ אפרת ירדאי ופרופ’ דני פילק.בנוסף יתקיימו שני ימי עיון ושני סיורים. הקורס פתוח להרשמה לסטודנטים מכלל המחלקות. הנוכחות בכל המפגשים היא חובה.

התכנית מציעה 6 נק”ז ומלגה של לפחות 1000 ₪.

מקומות במסלול זה: 15 סטודנטים.

שעות התמחות: 120

סטודנטים המעוניינים להגיש מועמדות לתכנית מתבקשים:

א.      למלא את טופס הגשת המועמדות המצורף.

ב.      לשלוח קורות חיים למייל ולציין בנושא המייל את שמכם.

ניתן להגיש מועמדות לכל המאוחר עד ל-25.9.2015.

מועמדים מתאימים יוזמנו לראיון באחד התאריכים הבאים: 7.10.15 או- .8.10.15.

לפרטים נוספים ניתן לפנות לאפרת ירדאי, במייל:


פרופ’ דני פילק

גב’ אפרת ירדאי